Throughout the 2016 season Rick Porcello displayed consistent performance. He did not have gaudy strikeout numbers, he doesn’t throw 100 miles per hour and he does not have one of those nine-figure contracts either.
Wednesday evening Porcello won the 2016 American League Cy Young award and he did so in a similar style to how he traversed the 2016 regular season.
Porcello didn’t amass a bunch of gaudy first place votes. He had the second most first place votes among AL pitchers. That didn’t stop him from amassing the most points and thus winning his first AL Cy Young award.
Porcello barely beat out his former teammate Justin Verlander of the Detroit Tigers. It was the second closest Cy Young vote since 1970.
It is worth mentioning that another former Tigers’ teammate of Porcello’s Max Scherzer was the winner of the 2016 National League Cy Young award. Scherzer eked out a win over a pair of Cubs starters, Jon Lester and Kyle Hendricks.
Porcello becomes the first Red Sox pitcher to win the Cy Young award since 2000 when Pedro Martinez won the award for the second year in a row.
Porcello led the majors in wins with 22. He pitched 223 innings, making him among the most durable starters in the league. Porcello isn’t impossible to make contact with, but he doesn’t issue many walks. His 32 free passes was one of the lowest totals in the majors among all starters that had pitched 140 or more innings.
Porcello’s three complete games ranked third among AL starters with only Indians’ ace Corey Kluber (6) and his Red Sox teammate Steven Wright (4) finishing more games that they started.
Porcello was drafted by the Detroit Tigers out of high school in June of 2007. On December 11, 2014 the Tigers dealt Porcello to the Boston Red Sox in exchange for outfielder Yoenis Cespedes and reliever Alex Wilson. He inked a four-year, $82.5 million contract extension before he threw his first pitch in a Red Sox uniform.
That contract looked quite ominous as Porcello struggled through a subpar 2015 season.
This past season Porcello changed that deal from a possible mistake, into one of the sport’s best bargains.
Rick Porcello is 27 years old, he is signed through the conclusion of the 2019 season and will be paid $62.375 million over the next three years. He just won his first career AL Cy Young award, and given his age, his control and his durability, it might not be his last.