Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts annoyed by All-Star snub
By Sean Penney
Xander Bogaerts hasn’t received much support from fans on the All-Star ballot and the Boston Red Sox shortstop is annoyed by the lack of recognition.
Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts knows he’s worthy of being called an All-Star and he’s baffled as to why those involved in the selection process don’t seem to agree.
Bogaerts has emerged as one of the best young shortstops in baseball over the last handful of years yet he has only one All-Star appearance on his resume, which came back in 2016. He took a step back the following season so if Bogaerts is being honest with himself, he didn’t deserve to make consecutive appearances.
Last year was a different story. Bogaerts entered the break with a solid .284 batting average and 16 home runs. He was second among American League shortstops with 64 RBI and third with a .889 OPS. Those are All-Star caliber numbers yet Bogaerts found himself left out when rosters were announced. Manny Machado was voted in by the fans as the starter and Francisco Lindor was selected as a backup.
Machado and Lindor were both worthy options who were ahead of Bogaerts in most offensive categories and the gap widens when you factor in defense. Xander was simply a victim of a roster crunch when the AL selected only two options from a deep pool of talented shortstops.
His exclusion from this year’s All-Star Game would be more egregious. Bogaerts enters the day hitting .300 with a career-high .923 OPS. He leads AL shortstops with 43 walks, 23 doubles, 48 RBI and 56 runs scored. His .386 wOBA and 140 wRC+ trail only Minnesota’s Jorge Polanco at the position and he ranks at the top with a 3.4 WAR, per FanGraphs.
Despite ranking at or near the top of nearly every category at his position, Bogaerts currently sits a distant sixth in fan voting for the All-Star Game. Only the top three shortstops will move on to the next round of fan voting to determine the starter. You can build a case for someone else earning the starting role but Bogaerts needs to at least be in the conversation.
The lack of recognition for this honor isn’t lost on Bogaerts, who told WEEI’s Rob Bradford that he’s getting annoyed that he keeps getting passed over for a spot on the All-Star team.
"“These past few years every time I’ve come up just short even though my numbers have been up there or better than most of the guys,” said Bogaerts. “It’s just so weird. I just miss out when in my opinion I should have been there. I just feel like it’s a routine, every year the same thing. It’s kind of getting annoying. But I don’t know what to do.”"
His ranking on the fan ballots won’t necessarily prevent Bogaerts from making the team. He can still be selected as a reserve by his fellow players and the Commissioner’s Office, both of whom tend to have more reliable opinions on who is worthy of being an All-Star.
More from Red Sox News
- Red Sox Nation deserves far more from Fenway Sports Group
- Bizarre trade deadline comes back to haunt Red Sox after Nathan Eovaldi departure
- Red Sox’ Moneyball-style offseason continues with Corey Kluber contract
- Rich Hill’s Red Sox departure puts him within striking distance of unique MLB record
- Red Sox offseason takes another nasty hit with Nathan Eovaldi departure
Unfortunately, Bogaerts won’t get any help from his manager. Alex Cora will be the skipper for the American League team but a 2017 rule change took the responsibility of naming All-Star reserves out of the manager’s hands. Only 20 position players make the team and every MLB franchise must be represented. Even with Machado moving to the NL, the league remains flooded with talented shortstops. These are all factors working against Bogaerts.
The Red Sox rewarded Bogaerts with a lucrative $120 million extension prior to this season, assuring the young shortstop that they view him among the elite at his position regardless of whether or not he’s named an All-Star. Still, Bogaerts admits it would mean a lot to be recognized by the rest of the league for his performance.
Every year we hear about which players were snubbed in the All-Star selection process. Bogaerts was among those miffed by his exclusion last year and there will be an even bigger outrage if he’s left out again in the midst of a career season.
"“I just think (the statistics) speak for themselves,” said Bogaerts. “I don’t know how that goes a bit unnoticed or a bit unrecognized. Sometimes it’s sad, but that’s the way it is. It’s been like that the last couple of years. I’ve kind of gotten used to it. It sucks to say that and I don’t want to be that way, but it’s weird.”"
Bogaerts has a right to be frustrated but the situation is out of his hands. Who is in control? You! If you want to help rectify this glaring mistake, go to MLB.com and vote for Xander Bogaerts!