After being voted in as the starting shortstop last year, Xander Bogaerts currently sits in fourth on the ballot at his position. That’s certainly no knock against Bogaerts, but rather a reflection on how stacked the position has become.
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His home run power has mysteriously disappeared following a 21-homer campaign, although it’s not as if Bogaerts is now only a singles hitter. He’s on pace to set a career-high in doubles and already has the most triples of his career with four. The .823 OPS Bogaerts carries would also be a personal best and he’s back to being in the batting title race, ranking seventh in the league with a .312 average.
Houston’s Carlos Correa is running away with the fan vote and deservedly so. The 22-year old has burst out with an MVP caliber season, posting a 3.9 WAR that ranks second among AL position players.
He won’t start, but Bogaerts has as much right as any other shortstop to earn a reserve spot. He leads the position in batting average and he’s second in OPS. He’s fourth with a 1.9 WAR, following behind Correa and a pair of defensive-minded shortstops having solid seasons at the plate.
Francisco Lindor is a distant second on the fan ballot. His production has fallen off dramatically in each month since a hot start in April, yet he’s nearly a lock to make the team with Cleveland Indians manager Terry Francona selecting the reserves. If Tito can find room for a third shortstop, it should be Bogaerts.