Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is putting the team on his back

BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 14: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox and J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate after crossing home plate in the bottom of the eighth inning of the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on April 14, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images)
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS - APRIL 14: Xander Bogaerts #2 of the Boston Red Sox and J.D. Martinez #28 of the Boston Red Sox celebrate after crossing home plate in the bottom of the eighth inning of the game against the Baltimore Orioles at Fenway Park on April 14, 2019 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Omar Rawlings/Getty Images) /
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The Boston Red Sox are gearing up to for the second half of the season and shortstop Xander Bogaerts is putting the weight of the team on his back.

This season has been a series of ups and downs for the Red Sox. When the offense rises the pitching sinks and vice versa. One thing that has been a constant positive since Opening Day has been the play of Xander Bogaerts. The superstar shortstop signed a massive extension this offseason and he’s been worth every penny as we hit the midway point of the season.

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Whether it’s been in the field or at the plate Bogey has been consistent all season long. Has he been perfect in either aspect? No, but he’s been the most reliable person in a Red Sox uniform in 2019. Not only has he stepped up his quality of play, which was already pretty high, but now he’s stepping up as a leader in the clubhouse.

With the team lacking any form of consistency as we cross the halfway mark of the campaign, Xander stepped up and took full ownership of the quality of play. If there is anyone that should be exempt from blame for this season it’s Bogey, but he is a leader of this team so he takes this game and season personally.

That quote says so much about the man that Xander Bogaerts is above being just a player on a team. He has been one of if not the most consistently strong members of this roster since Opening Day and he still wants to shoulder the blame for the poor results this season. That is the sign of a true leader and this team sure could use one of those with how this year is playing out.

Bogey has been a catalyst at the plate and is finding himself either starting rallies or being the one to break them open. In his last 15 games, his numbers are off the charts: 19H/11R/13RBI/13BB/8K and has a .339 avg. He is doing everything that he can to give this team the best chance at victory. It was his 2-run single that gave the Red Sox the lead late yesterday before Matt Barnes would offer up another blown save.

Xander’s work at the plate and in the field is just one aspect of what he offers this Boston team as a leader. You can see him every single game talking things over with Rafael Devers.

The relationship they have seems more familiar than a mentor/mentee and more like an older brother coaching his sibling. Even though he’s only 26 years old, Bogey has been a key member of this team since 2013 and was a big factor in the Red Sox winning the World Series that season.

He offers a veteran presence while still being at the age of a prospect. Bogey really does offer the Red Sox the best of both worlds. He’s been around for long enough to help younger players but is still incredibly young himself. Which is why the new 6-year/$120 deal he signed in the offseason was a win-win for both sides. He’s young enough that the length of the deal shouldn’t hurt the organization and where he’ll be set for life when he’s done.

It was shocking to see that Bogey didn’t finish in contention for the All-Star Game in Cleveland. The voting process is just a foolish popularity contest which and in the case of Bogaerts, screw the best players out of a spot. He has performed better than the names ahead of him in the polling in nearly every metric the baseball world cherishes so dearly. And it seems like he is going out each day to remind the baseball world why he’s the best at the position in the game today.

"“He deserves it,” said Sox manager Alex Cora, who will manage the A.L. team in the midsummer classic July 9. “He’s been working so hard for this and he’s proven to everybody he belongs to the elite ones. Hopefully he’ll be there in Cleveland.”"

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Xander Bogaerts has been the best part of the Red Sox team on a daily basis. Whether it’s flashing the leather on defense or racking up extra-base hits like it’s batting practice, he’s a human highlight reel. If Boston wants to have any shot at getting themselves to the postseason they’ll need Bogey to continue on this tear and it doesn’t seem like he’s going to slow down any time soon.