After the 2013 season ended things were looking pretty good for the Red Sox infield.
On the right side they signed David Pedroia to a long term deal, he would fix his ailing thumb, and Mike Napoli was signed to a deal filling in the first base position for the coming years. Both are known for good defense and solid hitting barring occasional slumps.
Then we have had the Stephen Drew saga, that continues to sputter on down the road. The Red Sox have committed to Xander Bogaerts and he has provided a pretty good bat in the lineup with a.271 average and a .400 OBP that has mitigated the impact of Drew's absence.
According to John Dewan's Fielding Bible, Bogaerts entered Tuesday having made four fewer plays than the average shortstop, costing his team five runs relative to a big league average shortstop. The Red Sox hope that he will improve at the position, that the gap between what Drew offered and what the 21-year-old displays will diminish significantly.
Bogaerts himself is convinced that such a progression will occur -- both for him and his team.
"As defenders, we try our best to get all the balls. Sometimes the ball is a bit too far from you. It's part of the game," Bogaerts said. "We're definitely going to get better. There's no need to worry about that."
But for now, at a time when the team needs defensive excellence because the offense has not hit its stride, Bogaerts has contributed to the team's struggles in the field.
Gorden Edes from ESPN spoke to a Major League scout who shook his head at any who disparage Bogaerts based on his glove. That scout told Edes that any of his peers that scouted Boston’s system in 2013 said Bogaerts was the best player they saw in Minor League Baseball.
Eric is a contributing writer since 2013 and a true Overseas Fan of the Boston Red Sox living in the Netherlands. He's spent years on baseball fields around the world pitching. His weekends are now spent helping the next generations of pitchers to find their passion and love for the sport. More articles by Eric: https://www.redsoxlife.com/search/label/ericschabell