Annual Boston awards dinner to be star-studded

Annual Boston awards dinner to be star-studded

BOSTON -- If you're looking to see and hear from some of the most prominent Red Sox players before Spring Training, the 77th annual Boston Baseball Writers Dinner on Jan. 21 is the place to be.

The event -- which is being held at the Boston Marriott Copley Place (6 p.m. ET cocktail reception, 7 p.m. dinner) -- has long been a sign to Boston's ravenous baseball fans that the season is drawing closer. This year's cast is a deep one, featuring several players who are key to the club's fortunes in 2016 and beyond.

Mookie Betts, Xander Bogaerts, Brock Holt, Ryan Hanigan, Eduardo Rodriguez and top prospect Yoan Moncada are among the guests who are expected to be in attendance. Those players and others will be presented with awards that were voted on by the Boston chapter of the Baseball Writers' Association of America.

Bogaerts, coming off a marvelous 2015 season and still just 23 years old, will receive the Red Sox Most Valuable Player Award.

Betts, the club's other 23-year-old blossoming star, will receive the Jackie Jensen Award for spirit and determination.

The only Boston player who might have made more highlight-reel plays in the outfield last year than Betts was Jackie Bradley Jr., and he is the Red Sox Comeback Player of the Year. After his final recall from Triple-A Pawtucket in late July, Bradley caught fire with the bat and finished the season with an .832 OPS.

Though Moncada isn't ready to play at Fenway Park just yet, he is one of the most anticipated prospects the Red Sox have had in a long time after signing a record-setting deal for an international free agent last February. Moncada certainly made his presence felt at Class A Greenville in 2015, and he is being recognized with the Greg Montalbano Minor League Player of the Year Award.

Holt, who was Boston's lone All-Star on the field last year, was equally valuable off it. Holt is the winner of the Tim Wakefield Award for community service.

Lefty Eduardo Rodriguez, a potential ace in the making, will get the Red Sox Pitcher of the Year Award, as well as the club's Rookie of the Year.

Catcher Ryan Hanigan, the pride of Andover, Mass., is the club's Unsung Hero Award winner.

Some of the loudest applause of the night will probably go to Don Orsillo, the Red Sox's play-by-play man for NESN over the past 15 seasons. Orsillo, who is taking his broadcasting talents to the San Diego Padres, is the recipient of the Good Guy Award.

Two Red Sox stars who won't be in attendance but will still be receiving awards are slugger David Ortiz (Milestone Moment Award, for homer No. 500) and closer Koji Uehara (Red Sox Fireman Award).

Other attendees and award winners will be announced in the days leading up to the event. Tickets to the event are available by contacting Renee Quinn at rquinn@sportsmuseum.org.

Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.