Major League Baseball has seen an unbelievable influx of young stars in recent seasons. With guys like Mike Trout and Bryce Harper making their way to the Bigs over the past couple of years, baseball is becoming the young man’s domain. Now it seems like Boston Red Sox have their addition to the party.
If you’ve followed the Red Sox even mildly over the past few years, you’ve undoubtedly heard the praises being sung of young Aruban shortstop Xander Bogaerts. Bogaerts got his first call up to the majors at the end of last season for 18 regular season appearances and also playing a key part in their World Series run, playing in 12 postseason games.
In his appearances last season, Bogaerts was solid, but looked every bit like a 20-year-old getting his first taste of baseball outside of the minors. In the regular season he hit just .250 with a .684 OPS all while scoring seven runs and driving in five of his own. He picked it up in the postseason with a .296 batting average and .893 OPS with two RBIs and nine runs scored, though. However, one major concern was that Bogaerts was striking out in over one-fourth of his plate appearances.
However, he’s blowing that all out of the water in the first three games of the 2014 MLB season and as he starts his first full season with the Red Sox. After going 3-4 with two runs scored on Thursday in Boston’s 4-3 win over the Baltimore Orioles, Bogaerts is now hitting .556 on the season with a 1.333 OPS. Moreover, he just struck out for the first time this season on Thursday.
Bogaerts already looks like an absolute stud. He has just one extra-base hit on the season thus far, but he’s been making fantastic contact often already this season and you have to suspect that the power is about to emerge very soon. For a team with some inconsistency in the bottom of their lineup, Bogaerts could be monstrously helpful in helping Boston defend their World Series title. If he can keep hitting and showing the plate-discipline that he has thus far over an entire season, his name is going to have to be brought up in the same breath as Trout and Harper.