Bogaerts has been Boston’s everyday shortstop since 2014 but has never been the first player you think of on the Sox.
Rick Porcello and David Price have Cy Young awards. Betts is coming off an MVP season. With so much firepower surrounding him, many don’t know that Boegarts is a 2-time Silver Slugger.
Xander Bogaerts must have decided that “just” being an All-Star caliber player was not enough. He wanted to outshine his MVP-winning teammate – so he put up a Betts-esque season.
|Xander Bogaerts on-pace 2019||.308||36||129||123||4|
|Mookie Betts 2018||.346||32||129||80||30|
Sure, the batting average is not as high as Mookie’s and Bogaerts has no speed, but Xander is on pace for home run and RBI numbers that would make corner infielders jealous.
According to Baseball Reference, the only other shortstop in history to hit at least .308 with 36 homers, 123 RBIs, and 129 runs is Alex Rodriguez. Bogaerts is in elite company.
I’m not from Boston, but I sure hope Sox fans aren’t too busy marvelling at the work of J.D. Martinez, Chris Sale, or Mookie Betts to appreciate the greatness that has been playing shortstop everyday since 2014.
The Regression of Mookie
Mookie Betts has taken a step back after becoming baseball’s third-ever .340/30/30 guy and the first since Larry Walker in 1997.
This year, Betts’ numbers look an awful lot like Bogaerts’ stats in 2018. This is how good Betts was last year. A step back in 2019 is still giving him numbers comparable to those of a Silver Slugger shortstop.
|Mookie Betts on-pace 2019||.284||27||148||86||17|
|Xander Bogaerts 2018||.288||23||72||103||8|
Extremely similar, except that Mookie is on pace to score about 75 more runs. We haven’t seen a player score 148 runs since Jeff Bagwell in 2000. Before that? You’d have to go back to Ted Williams … yes – thee Ted Williams – in 1949.
Xander Bogaerts is Clutch, Too
As Betts and J.D. Martinez fail to get the big hits this year, Xander Bogaerts has assumed the role of late-game clutch slugger.
The Red Sox are 60-55 which puts them 14.5 games back of the division lead with 2 teams ahead and 5.5 games off the Wild Card with 2 teams ahead, also.
Last year, Boston had just one Mookie Betts and won the World Series. If the Sox can get Bogaerts to continue his pace and get Mookie producing at his 2018 levels once again – Boston will effectively have 2 Mookie Betts.
I think it will take 2 Mookie Betts to get Boston back onto the good side of the playoff picture.
See you on top!