With spring training officially in full swing down in Florida, The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham joined Toucher and Rich to talk Red Sox.
One player who’s been tearing it up thus far has been shortstop Xander Bogaerts. The 22-year-old has played in just three games, but he’s hit three home runs and driven in six runs already, posting a 1.625 OPS.
Coming off a .240/.297/.362 year in his first full season in the bigs, is Bogaerts now on the verge of really breaking out?
“Yeah, it might be a year later than we expected, but he certainly does look better,” Abraham said. “He spent the whole winter in Arizona for the most part, doing specific things that the Red Sox wanted him to do — getting stronger, getting first-step quickness — and it shows up on the field.”
Abraham noted that patience has been a big part of Bogaerts’ at-bats thus far, as he has the same number of walks (2) in his three games as he had in all of September 2014.
“And that was a problem last year, he was a little bit over-anxious, I think he was trying to do too much,” Abraham said. “And you now see better patience out of him. I think a lot of that is because of the lineup. He’s not in the middle of this lineup, he’s not somebody who’s expected to do something offensively, he’s one of the bottom-third guys, and I think that’s taking some pressure off him.
“But he just overall looks like a guy who’s not more focused necessarily, but I think knows better about what he needs to do.”
Abraham also talked about the prospects of a Cole Hamels trade, why the Sox might keep Allen Craig through spring training, the status of the Sox rotation, the evaluation of Mookie Betts, and more. Listen below: