Don't look now but Xander Bogaerts is on an absolute tear. Bogaerts is 32-98 over his past 30 games (.327 average), 19-47 (.404) over his last 15, and is an astounding 11-21 (.524) in his last 7 contests.
This season, Bogaerts is hitting a solid .298 with 2 homers and 18 runs batted in. While the power numbers aren't there, Bogaerts is at least getting on base, something most Red Sox hitters can't say right now. He is putting up very professional at bats, day in and day out, and looks as comfortable at the plate as he did during the 2013 World Series run (remember the glory days?).
Speaking of comfort, Bogaerts is proving to us all that he can play shortstop at a major league level. He looks outstanding in the field. His defense has improved dramatically over the past year. Bogaerts is doing the little things right at short and it is making all the difference in the world. He is charging slow choppers instead of waiting for the ball to come to him, he is showing good instincts, and he is rounding balls instead of going to the backhand. All of these little things have helped him to become an above average defender.
Xander Bogaerts also has 4 steals which, believe it or not, is a career high for him. His previous high was last season when he swiped just 2 bases. Bogaerts is a very athletic player so it is good to see him use one of his tools.
Bogaerts is finally playing like many of us thought he would last year. Keep in mind that Xander is still just 22 years young so the sky is the limit for this kid.
If the All-Star Game was this week, Bogaerts would be one of the representatives for your Boston Red Sox. The weak crop at short should make it easy for Bogaerts to make the All-Star Game.
Here is how he ranks among AL shortstops (entering Friday night):
1st in batting average (José Iglesias does not have enough at bats to qualify) Tied for 2nd in RBI
Tied for 1st in triples
3rd in hits
Tied for 1st in WAR
2nd in OPS
1st in OBP
3rd in SLG
2nd in fielding percentage
Obviously, a lot can change between now and the All-Star break, but Xander Bogaerts should be in Cincinnati come mid July.
Thoughts on Bogaerts as a potential All-Star?
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Photo from espn.com
Stats from baseballreference.com