Mar 13, 2014; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (left) is greeted by Boston Red Sox left fielder Daniel Nava (right) after Bogaerts scored a run against the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

The best shortstop in the AL East wears #2: Xander Bogaerts


Mar 13, 2014; Fort Myers, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts (left) is greeted by Boston Red Sox left fielder Daniel Nava (right) after Bogaerts scored a run against the Minnesota Twins at Hammond Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

For many years, the best shortstop in the AL East has worn the number two. Derek Jeter has been the best shortstop in the AL East almost without contest from 2004 (when Nomar Garciaparra was traded) until just a couple years ago (when Jeter’s game began to slip significantly). For the past couple of years, there has not been a hands down guy that is the best at the position in the division, but that could very well change this season.

With due respect to Jose Reyes, who is very good, but his game relies on speed, and with the gruesome ankle injury he suffered last season he may never be quite the same. The best shortstop in the division will have the number two on his back, but he plays for the Boston Red Sox, and his name is Xander Bogaerts.

Any chance to jab at New York Yankee fans, I will take the opportunity. I do typically appreciate Michael Kay for what he does on the YES Network. He is understandably biased, given the “Y” in the acronym of his employer does stand for “Yankees”, but today he said something that irked me a bit. I get it, Bogaerts has only 16 regular season games under his belt, but he did look very good in the World Series, and he has the potential to be one of the best players in the game of baseball. So, when Kay says something to the effect of “if things break right, the Red Sox are hoping Bogaerts can compete for the Rookie of the Year award.”

Now, if you were to take a poll of all the media that covers baseball, I am pretty certain the general consensus would be that Bogaerts is the pre-season favorite for the award.

Bogaerts has four plus tools, with the one missing being plus speed despite Tim McCarver consistently calling him a “fast runner” during the World Series. He is proving he has the athleticism to stick at short, which has long been a question given his size, and he should become a solid middle of the order bat. This season, expect to see him late in the order while he gets adjusted to a 162-game schedule and big league pitchers. Regardless, when the Red Sox changed Bogaerts number from 72 last season to 2 this season, it seemed like a pretty obvious passing of the guard at shortstop in the AL East.

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Xander Bogaerts

  • steve.c

    This may be the single most ridiculous post of the spring.

    • Rick M

      I guess you haven’t read my stuff! X-Man has gotta prove it.

  • Conor Duffy

    I love Bogaerts. I think he’ll be a solid player as soon as this year and will develop into one of the best in baseball. However, at this stage calling him better than Jose Reyes and JJ Hardy is unfair to Reyes and Hardy, as well as Bogaerts. I do think he’ll be better than Jeter, which is the main point of your post, but I don’t think we can count on him being better than the others.

    • steve.c

      Conor, you just took the lead for most ridiculous post. Bogaerts will be better than the #9 guy on all time MLB hits list and sometime midseason will be #9 on the all time runs list. Please think before you yammer about a guy who has played major league ball for about 5.minutes.

      • Conor Duffy

        I’m not saying that his career will be better than Jeter’s. I’m just saying that in 2014, he will have a better season than a 39 year old coming off a lost season. Sorry if it wasn’t worded clearly.

  • http://sdotfox.wordpress.com Sean Sylver

    Bogaerts could have a very good year. Hardy and Reyes (if healthy) will be in the mix. At this point, all three should have a better year than Jeter. And I respect the heck out of “The Captain” – but he’s 40 years old and coming off a season in which he played just 17 games. If he hits .316 with 15 home runs, as he did two years ago, I’d be floored.