Boston Red Sox spring training worry list of players to watch
By Rick McNair
Was it the injury or is Xander Bogaerts or a player who simply has regressed and will continue to do so? The first order of business is defense and one particular metric stands out and that is Defensive Runs Saved (DRS). Last season Bogaerts was -11 and for his career, it is now -29 DRS. Couple that with a -1.5 UZR and a questionable Devers at third and Red Sox pitchers may wish to decrease their groundball percentages.
Bogaerts is adequate with his glove work, but adequate won’t cut it when you hit .273 with just 10 home runs. That is a significant drop from 2016 when Bogaerts won a Silver Slugger Award, became an All-Star and hit 21 home runs. Now just 25-years-old will Bogaerts finally show the power-hitting so many expected?
Bogaerts has admitted that he should have taken some down time to get healthy but attempted to play through his wrist injury. A second half that produced just a .235 average after a .303 first half. Bogaerts does have a history of statistically slipping as the season wears on, but this was one that combined low average with little power.
My eye on Bogaerts as with just about all observers will be his hitting and by hitting will power be there? If Bogaerts is not hitting his defense must step up and after four full seasons what you see is what you get defensively.