The Boston Red Sox are going into another season with yet another new shortstop. Ever since Nomar Garciaparra got traded in 2004, it seems like everytime you watch a Red Sox game, you are looking at someone different. This year is no exception, however the individual manning this particular position looks like a very special player. Xander Bogaerts has the potential for a very promising career.
At one point, it appeared as though the Red Sox were going to bring back Stephen Drew and put Bogaerts at third base. There appears to be a change of plans though, because Bogaerts has been told to work exclusively at short which seems to be more and more of a sign that Drew probably won’t be coming back.
Bogaerts had long been thought of as an amazing prospect who Boston fans couldn’t wait to see arrive at Fenway Park. When he did get called up, he didn’t disappoint. He made it to the MLB very late in the 2013 season and batted .250 with one home run and five runs batted in. That one home run that he hit was very memorable as it was one of the longest shots in 2013 at Yankee Stadium.
He also turned a lot of heads with his performance in the postseason. He batted .296 with two RBI’s. He had the patience of a five-year veteran at the plate getting some crucial walks and more than a few extra base hits. That is very impressive for such a young player. Many times during the postseason, you see older players fall apart. Bogaerts seems to love the spotlight and absolutely thrived.
It is that maturity and grace under pressure that should mean unless something goes horribly wrong, Bogaerts is going to be the American League Rookie of the Year or at least very much in the running. His presence, plate discipline, and all around approach to the game should translate to a very special player for years to come.
Dustin Pedroia has had to learn to work with many different double play partners. He might want to settle in this year because Bogaerts should be around for a long, long time.