The current leader of the Red Sox, Xander Bogaerts first came up to the big leagues from the minors late in the 2013 season. He had a fantastic postseason that October, hitting .296 with two RBI (including a big triple) in the twelve games he played during the Red Sox run to winning the World Series.
In 2014, he took over the starting shortstop role before the team tried to convert him to a third baseman when they brought Stephen Drew back for half a season. It seemed to stunt the young infielder’s progress but he bounced back in 2015 once he was settled in for good at short. He hit .320 that year although his power numbers were down, with only seven home runs and 81 RBI despite playing in 156 games.
From 2016 on, though, Bogaerts has been one of the best shortstops in the league, putting up the following offensive numbers:
2016: .294 BA, 21 HR, 89 RBI, 192 H, 115 R, 58 BB, .356 OBP, .802 OPS (157 games)
2017: .273 BA, 10 HR, 62 RBI, 156 H, 94 R, 56 BB, .343 OBP, .746 OPS (148 games)
2018: .288 BA, 23 HR, 103 RBI, 148 H, 72 R, 55 BB, .360 OBP, .883 OPS (136 games)
2019: .309 BA, 33 HR, 117 RBI, 190 H, 110 R, 76 BB, .384 OBP, .939 OPS (155 games)
Bogaerts’ career has been on a steady projection upward and other than his dip in production in 2017 (which the entire team had in the wake of David Ortiz’ retirement after the 2016 season), he just keeps getting better and better. He was an All Star in 2016 and 2019 and has improved his defense immensely to become one of the better defensive shortstops in the league.
With the departure of Mookie Betts in February 2020, Bogaerts is now the leader of this team both on the field and in the clubhouse. After signing an extension, he’s shown his commitment to the team and Red Sox fans are surely excited to see what he’ll do next.