The offseason has been very good to Boston Red Sox ace Rick Porcello. The right-hander, who led the Red Sox to the American League East championship during 2016, was named the American League Comeback Player of the Year on Tuesday.
The award is officially sanctioned by Major League Baseball and is presented each year to the player who re-emerged on the field of play during the past season. One player from each team is chosen then reporters vote on the top player from each league.
Porcello adds to his awards with this one. He was named the AL Cy Young Award recipient just 13 days ago. After a 2015 campaign with the Red Sox of 9-15 with an ERA of 4.92, Porcello turned things around in year two with Boston. He was consistent throughout the season ending 22-4 with an ERA of 3.15.
He led the Red Sox to the AL East title thanks to 33 starts, which was a career high. His 22 wins topped the Majors. Porcello said that in his first season with Boston, he put too much pressure on himself.
Porcello raised his innings pitched to 223 during 2016 from 172 in 2015. He allowed just 78 earned runs, 193 hits, 32 walks and strike out 189 batters.
His strikeout to walk ratio of 5.91 led the majors, but was also the No. 7 best all time by a pitcher for the Red Sox over the last 100 years.
Porcello was ranked second in the American League with 26 quality starts and in WHIP at 1.01. He was tied for the third best in complete games with 3.
He finished the season fourth in total innings pitched. His ERA was fifth in the league, while the batting average of opponents at .230 was sixth best of any AL pitcher. His 189 strikeouts ranked Porcello No. 8 in the league.
The WHIP of 1.01 by Porcello was the lowest of any pitcher for Boston since 2002 when Pedro Martinez had 0.92 and Derek Lowe 0.97.
Boston was expected to go further in the postseason after winning the AL East title, but was eliminated by the Cleveland Indians in the divisional series.