Xander Bogaerts signed a deal in early April that could potentially lock him up with the Boston Red Sox through 2025. At this point It is very widely regarded that this deal was extremely team friendly for a Red Sox team struggling to stay below the luxury tax.
However, his contract means so much more to the Red Sox than meets the eye.
Xander is a guy that first appeared on the scene back in 2013 (and at one point was playing some third base for the eventual World Series champs). At this point in his career, he has two World Series titles, has seen the good and the bad in Boston, and at 26 years old, is a young veteran leader on this Red Sox team.
His body of work speaks for itself. If you don’t believe that Xander is a top shortstop in today’s league, allow me to educate you and your misinformed opinion right now with a tweet from @SoxNotes that sheds light on how good he has been.
Xander Bogaerts’ rankings among MLB shortstops, 2015-19:
.295 AVG – 1st
375 RBI – 1st
413 runs – 1st
164 doubles – 1st
760 hits – 1st
(min. 300 games at SS)
— Red Sox Notes (@SoxNotes) June 5, 2019
Over a four-year span, he has been a mainstay in a Sox offense that has plenty of pop. He plays a quality defensive shortstop and those numbers speak for themselves.
However, what is particularly important about Xander is how he has changed his career and the careers of people around him. We will start with his career, when he first came onto the scene until the year before the Cora signing, he was all about hitting for average, hard hit balls on the ground, and line drives. On top of that, it always seemed that if he had a hot start, it fizzled out by the all-star break or he would get injured. Now, he has embraced his role as a prolific slugging shortstop and was an offensive catalyst on a World Champion Red Sox team.
Also, while he has been a mainstay in the Red Sox infield, the people around him, have not. However one player than could become one is the 23-year-old Rafael Devers. If you watch the games, or know anything about this relationship, Xander is a pivotal role model for Devers and Xander also spoke about how he took Michael Chavis under his wing upon his call up, when Chavis was learning second base at the big league level. If Xander truly is as big of a part in those two as we think, he deserves tremendous credit for his leadership and character.
A bargain absolutely. An unspoken leader and a guy who may have his number down the right field line one day, equally possible.
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