A few years ago I wrote an article about how Xander Bogaerts could become the greatest shortstop in the history of the sport of baseball. Predictably, I was met with a lot of pushback. It was
- Francisco Lindor
- Javier Báez
- Trevor Story
- Manny Machado
- Andrelton Simmons
- Carlos Correa
- Corey Seager
- Paul DeJong
- Jean Segura
- Didi Gregorius
Xander Bogaerts was excluded from that list. The funniest part is that he’s better than all of them. It’s not really debatable either. From 2015-2019, Xander ranks first among shortstops in average (.295), RBI’s (375), Runs (413), Doubles (164), and hits (760). Yet somehow, Bogaerts is ignored. It makes zero sense.
“He’s very special,” said pitcher David Price. “Offensively, defensively, he’s one of the elite shortstops in all of baseball. I’ll take him over anybody.”
Amen to that, David. There isn’t a shortstop in baseball I’d rather have. Bogaerts does everything well. Drives in runs, hits for contact, power, and is regarded as an elite defender.
Just days after the start of the 2019 season, the Red Sox rewarded their shortstop with a huge 6-year extension worth $120 million. A lot of fans maybe thought that contract was an overpay. That couldn’t be further from the truth. Bogaerts could have gotten more on the open market but wanted to stay with the Sox and probably for slightly less. That’s exactly what you want. Xander is the same guy every day and is known as an awesome guy in the clubhouse.
Now at the age of 26, Bogaerts is reaching new heights. When Alex Cora became the manager a year ago, he challenged Bogaerts to change his approach. Instead of hitting .320 with soft contact, he wanted .280 with power. That’s not an easy thing to do. Well, Bogaerts responded. He had his first 100 RBI season in 2018. Bogie’s 2018 batting line fin
“I think my mindset has changed,” Bogaerts said. “I remember before, I used to see a big hole up the middle and just want to get a base hit up the middle, run hard, maybe get an infield hit. I
don’t think like that nomore. I think it’s the mindset I go up to the plate with. I still see that big hole, but it’s not something I want to do. I want to drive it.”
That single up the middle has now turned into a 2-run double. That’s the difference between good and great. Great is exactly what Bogaerts has become. There’s no other way to say it, the man is just continuing to improve. The walk percentage is at a career high 11.7%. The weighted runs created plus is also at a career high 142. Bogaerts is doing damage. Only Jorge Polanco has a higher WRC+ but doesn’t have close to the track record Bogaerts does.
Historically when you look at the best shor
The truth is this modern era is the best collection of shortstops to ever play the game. They hit for more damage than all of those guys did. Lindor, Baez, Correa? Nope, Bogaerts is the class of all of them. It’s time to give Xander Bogaerts the respect he deserves. Xander Bogaerts is a superstar and the best shortstop baseball has to offer. Let’s also not forget that Xander Bogaerts is a 2-time World Series Champion and one of the leaders in the Red Sox clubhouse. He’s also taken Rafael Devers under his wing as the young third baseman has blossomed into a star of his own. I think that counts for something too. Xander Bogaerts is the best Shortstop in Baseball and also most disrespected.