Red Sox: Xander Bogaerts is the perfect choice as Boston’s next captain

Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images)
Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts. (Photo by Billie Weiss/Boston Red Sox/Getty Images) /

The Boston Red Sox haven’t had a player carry the title of “captain” since Jason Varitek. Xander Bogaerts is the perfect choice to continue the lineage.

Throughout the history of the Red Sox, only 18 players have adorned that “C” on their uniform, five of which are enshrined in Cooperstown. However, no Boston player has had the privilege of being named captain since legendary catcher, Jason Varitek.

It may come as a surprise to some that there’s been such a gap, especially with names like David Ortiz and Dustin Pedroia in the lineup. It feels like there needs to be that perfect storm of player quality, leadership, and trust that has to come together to earn a player the right to be a captain. Look no further than the fact that the team was without one from 1990-04 before Varitek earned the job ahead of the 2005 season.

There have been other massive gaps with the historic spot as the team was captainless from 1924-1939 until Jimmie Foxx was named in 1940, and then again from 1943-1965 until Carl Yastrzemski stepped to the mantle in 1966. Now, we find ourselves in a similar situation, it’s been eight years since the Red Sox had a captain, enter Xander Bogaerts.

In my eyes, Bogey is the absolute best fit for this role within the team and I truly feel he’d excel greatly at it. Much like Varitek, Yaz, and Foxx before him, he garners great respect from his teammates as well as his coaches and managers. He’s been a key member of the Red Sox organization since his big-league promotion in 2013 and hasn’t looked back once.

It’s not just about what a player can do on the field that should put him in contention to be a team’s captain, but what he does off of it as well. Though he’s only 27 years old, Xander is one of the veterans of this club and has stepped up in every way imaginable.

Look no further than his mentoring of Rafael Devers. The pair are inseparable and Bogey is often seen giving Raffy advice after his at-bats and in between defensive plays.

Much like Pedroia before him, Bogaerts has become the general of the infield and takes command of each and every one of his soldiers. He can often be seen re-grouping his battalion after each play to get the squad ready. Having a leader in place on the field may be paramount to any success the Red Sox want to see this season. That is if there is a season.

There’s a lot of uncertainty surrounding not only baseball right now but the world as a whole. MLB Commissioner Rob Mandred and the owners are definitely working towards some sort of a solution, but it’s hard to see what exactly that’ll be. This may the right time to once again sew the “C” onto a player’s jersey. Having a constant in an incredibly unpredictable world could allow the ship to stay on course in 2020.

We all know what Bogaerts can do on the field, the man should’ve been an MVP candidate last season, but the Red Sox were awful. That’s the sad state of voting in the game these days. Bogey was easily one of the best players in a Boston uniform in 2019 but thanks to the team underperforming, his efforts went largely unnoticed.

More from Red Sox News

I can see that being a massive motivator to the Aruban superstar as he continues to stake his claim as one of the best shortstops in the game today. There’s a reason that he was given his 6-year/$120M contract extension ahead of last season. It fully goes into effect with the 2020 season and I’m sure he’ll be doing whatever it takes to prove he was worth every penny.

This team isn’t far removed from winning a World Series and the roster is still similar, last year something was missing though. There are definitely leaders on this team, there’s no denying that, but I truly feel they need one voice above the others. Having a roster full of veterans is great, but if there isn’t a singular voice to organize the noise, then the team will be doomed.

Next. The history of Fenway Park. dark

Like those names that came before him, Xander Bogaerts exhibits everything needed to be a stellar captain for the Red Sox. If we do get a season this year then I think it’s the right time for the Boston higher-ups to give Bogey the honor. The enigmatic infielder is more than capable of leading this team back to October baseball. With his drive, work ethic, and resume, it’s hard to think he’d do anything but succeed as the captain of the Red Sox.