It’s no exaggeration to say that Xander Bogaerts is one of the best players in the Boston Red Sox’s long and decorated history. Double World Series champions, only four Red Sox have accumulated more WAR since 2000: David Ortiz, Pedro Martinez, Dustin Pedroia and Mookie Betts.
The four-time All-Star is in the middle of a six-year, $120 million deal he signed in April 2019. However, that pact included an opt-out after the 2022 season, which Bogaerts would have to exercise this off season. and become a free agent. The Red Sox brass have said signing their longtime shortstop for an extension is a top priority, but many clubs will be interested in a 30-year-old infielder with a powerful bat and improving defensive skills.
Here is what you need to know about Bogaerts:
Date of Birth: October 1, 1992 (30 years old in 2023)
Main position: SS
Size weight: 6 feet 2 inches, 218 pounds.
Place of birth: Oranjestad, Aruba
Schools): Arubano College (Aruba) HS
Sign: August 23, 2009, by Red Sox
MLB debut: August 20, 2013
Eligible offer: Eligible to receive one
2022: .307/.377/.456 (131 OPS+), 15 HR, 5.7 WAR* in 150G
Career: .292/.356/.458 (117 OPS+), 156 HR, 34.8 WAR in 1264G
STAT TO KNOW
You know what you’re going to get on Bogaerts’ plate: consistently strong production. He’s finished with no worse than a .285 GAA and a 125 OPS+ in each of the last five seasons. The only other player who can say that is Dodgers star Freddie Freeman.
Was his 2022 blackout just a stunt? While his overall offensive numbers are solid, this year Bogaerts set five-year lows for home runs (15), hard-hit rate (39.5), barrel rate (6.5) and speed. average output (88.1 mph) over a full season. Those last two numbers ranked 15th among qualified shortstops.
His defense took a big leap forward
Although Bogaerts leads the Red Sox in games played at shortstop, his work on the field hasn’t always been pretty. He entered this year with a minus-40 total of above-average strikeouts. He was minus-55 in Defensive Runs Saved. But he seemed to become a different kind of defender in 2022 by recording career highs in every metric – 5 OAA and 4 DRS. Bogaerts said a new off-season training schedule and a different pre-pitch routine helped him get to the balls faster.
He is a knight
This is Sir Xander Bogaerts to you.
A native of Aruba, Bogaerts is one of only six Major League players to hail from the small Dutch country. In 2011, two years before stepping into the big leagues and winning their first World Series title, Bogaerts helped the Netherlands win baseball World Cup gold. As a reward, all the players and coaches of this triumphant team were knighted by the governor of the country.
“Yeah, that was sick,” Bogaerts recalled in 2014.
He made hitting history this year
Despite his worst ratings of the full season in strike rate and contact rate, Bogaerts ranked among the top 15 qualified players with 171 hits and finished third in the AL batting title race. with an average of 0.307. He endured his fair share of lows throughout the summer, but he also had a historic streak in which he took multiple hits in nine consecutive games.
This hot streak tied a Red Sox record and has only been broken by three players during the Wild Card era (since 1995): Lourdes Gurriel Jr. (11 games, 2018), Bernie Williams (10 games, 2002) and Chuck Knoblauch (10 games, 1996).