On Saturday, the Red Sox will honor the organization’s top minor league players of the year in a Saturday afternoon pre-game ceremony.
Third baseman Michael Chavis (pictured right), 22, is the Offensive Player of the Year after finishing the season tied for fifth among all minor leaguers with 31 home runs between High-A Salem and Double-A Portland (126 total games). Overall, Chavis was sixth among qualifying Sox farmhands with a .282 batting average (133-for-471). Chavis has now played in four minor league seasons since being selected in the first round of the 2014 June Draft.
With a career-low 3.29 ERA in 26 starts between Double- and Triple-A this season, lefty Jalen Beeks, 24, is the organization’s Minor League Pitcher of the Year. Twice this season (April & July) Beeks was Starting Pitcher of the Month. His season included a 25.0-inning scoreless streak from April 22 through May 18, the second-longest in Portland franchise history.
Catcher Austin Rei, 23, is Defensive Player of the Year; Outfielder Tate Matheny, 23, is Baserunner of the Year; Infield/outfielder Keibert Petit, 19, is Latin Program Player of the Year; Pitcher Luis Rivero, 19, is Latin Program Pitcher of the Year.
Johnson Earns Lou Gorman Award
The Sox are recognizing pitcher Brian Johnson, 25, with the Lou Gorman Award. The achievement goes annually to the minor leaguer who has demonstrated dedication and perseverance in overcoming obstacles while working his way to the major league team.
Fans will, no doubt, recall the tenacity Johnson has repeatedly demonstrated to make it to the big leagues, including coming back after twice being struck in the head by a line drive. This May facing the Mariners, Johnson became the first Red Sox pitcher since Pedro Martinez with a nine-inning shutout in his Fenway Park debut. He owns a 32-26, 3.18 ERA record in 103 career minor league games.
Now some other news and notes of interest to Red Sox fans:
- Ticket prices for the 2018 Red Sox games will go up 2.5% on average over this year’s prices, the club Sox said this week. It will cost you between $1 and $5 more next season for seats in the Field Boxes (sections 17-70), Loge Boxes (103-155), the Bud Deck Barstools, Grandstand (13-27), Outfield Grandstand, Right Field Box, Right Field Roof Box, Terrace, Bleachers, and Upper Bleachers. All other section prices will be unchanged. Including this year’s increase, the Sox say they have held ticket prices in four of the past 10 seasons. The average annual increase since 2009 is 1.7% per year.
- Terry Francona is “the best manager in baseball, no doubt about it,” says David Ortiz. Hard to argue.
- Carl Crawford, who incidentally calls his former manager, Joe Maddon, “the most positive person I’ve ever been around,” says he’s more the happy to sit around and collect his paycheck for doing nothing. Crawford is still being paid the $22 million left on the contract he originally signed with the Sox, but now the responsibility of the Dodgers, who released him in June 2016. What remained of Crawford’s $142 million deal with Boston went to Los Angeles, along with Josh Beckett and Adrian Gonzalez in mid-2012. Crawford minces no words about his tough time in Boston. “I carried hate for that city for a long time,” he told Bleacher Report. “But now, I’m over that.”