USA Today Sports

Red Sox dominate Baseball America's 'Best Tools' poll

Rob Bradford
August 25, 2018 - 11:45 am

Baseball America's "Best Tools" survey is always usually a good measuring stick when trying to identify the best of the best in Major League Baseball ... or at least how those in the game feel about the subjects.

This year the outcome -- which is come to by polling managers, scouts and executives -- is heavy on Red Sox, with Mookie Betts, Jackie Bradley Jr., Ian Kinsler, Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel, Mitch Moreland and Alex Cora all getting recognized. (One notable absence was that of J.D. Martinez, who didn't crack the Top 3 in any of the hitting categories.) To read the entire poll, click here.

Here are some of the highlights from the American League voting as they pertain to the Red Sox:

Best Hitter

1. Mike Trout

2. Mookie Betts

3. Jose Altuve

Best strike-zone judgment

1. Mike Trout

2. Mookie Betts

3. Jose Ramirez

Best baserunner

1. Dee Gordon

2. Mookie Betts

3. Jose Altuve

Most exciting player

1. Mike Trout

2. Mookie Betts

3. Jose Altuve

Best pitcher

1. Chris Sale

2. Corey Kluber

3. Justin Verlander

Best slider

1. Chris Sale

2. Trevor Bauer

3. Luis Severino

Best changeup

1. Chris Devenski

2. Chris Sale

3. Fernando Rodney

Best control

1. Corey Kluber

2. Justin Verlander

3. Chris Sale

Best reliever

1. Edwin Diaz

2. Craig Kimbrel

3. Aroldis Chapman

Best defensive first baseman

1. Mitch Moreland

2. Matt Olson

3. Justin Smoak

Best defensive second baseman

1. Jose Altuve

2. Ian Kinsler

3. Whit Merrifield

Best defensive outfielder

1. Jackie Bradley Jr.

2. Mookie Betts

3. Mike Trout

Best outfield arm

1. Aaron Judge

2. Jackie Bradley Jr.

3. Aaron Hicks

Best manager

1. Terry Francona

2. A.J. Hinch

3. Alex Cora