BOSTON (CBS) – Red Sox rookie Xander Bogaerts has been a work in progress so far in 2014 playing the field at shortstop, but his approach at the plate has truly been veteran-like and he’s only getting better as the year goes on.
Tim Britton of the Providence Journal spoke glowingly about Bogaerts with Adam Jones Thursday night.
“It’s funny because with the way he, Will Middlebrooks and Jackie Bradley were playing you kind of just lumped them all together as guys who weren’t getting the job done. You take a step back and look at what Bogaerts’ numbers were, and yeah he was slumping for awhile but his on base percentage was still like .360.
“After Thursday’s game he’s back up to .378 OBP and you’ve seen the hard contact out of him. He had the home run today, some doubles Wednesday night — but even his outs in the last couple days were coming harder. It seemed like he got a little pull-happy, which meant he missed those pitches on the outer part of the plate. It’s weird to see him hit home runs to left field the way he has this season because he’s really a left-center to right field power guy. That’s where his real power is to.
“Once he gets back to doing that on a consistent basis, and we’re seeing that now, then I think you’re going to see the Xander Bogaerts that I think a lot of us expected coming into the year — a guy who can be probably be a middle of the order bat with the way the offense is going right now.”
Bogaerts is second on the team among Red Sox starters behind only Mike Napoli in on base percentage. He leads all American League shortstops in that category and ranks second in all of the bigs behind Colorado’s Troy Tulowitzki.
In his last 10 games Bogaerts has hit for a .378 average and it should be exciting to see how he performs the rest of the way, even if he’s eventually moved to third base because of the Stephen Drew signing.
Listen below for the full discussion, including Britton’s take on Jon Lester, Clay Buchholz and much more: