Certain positions give an advantage to a player whose “numbers” may not appear sufficient enough for HOF admission. Catchers are most notable and I still wonder about Ray Schalk – another gift from the Veterans Committee. That brings us to shortstops and the Red Sox have one who is now one of the best in their history with Xander Bogaerts.
After the 2017 season, my view was Bogaerts was a player who would never quite attain the stardom predicted when he arrived as a 20-year-old. The bat was there with a pair of Silver Slugger Awards, but the glove was not. How times have changed.
Bogaerts has now posted two impressive back-to-back seasons with exceptional run production. The power predicted has arrived with 56 home runs and 220 RBI over 2018-19 and much improved defensive play. Bogaerts now has a new contract and is considered a team leader with his prime baseball years just ahead.
What can go wrong? Just a small trip back in time to another Red Sox shortstop who certainly was on the track for a HOF career and that is Nomar Garciaparra. Garciaparra left Boston in a blockbuster trade and left a career .323 average. Nagging injuries and degraded performance cut short Garciaparra’s career and his what seemed like a lock HOF career.