Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is unbelievably underrated
Why Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts isn’t in the spotlight
Part of why Bogaerts remains underrated is a bit self-inflicted. He’s not flashy like Tatis Jr. or outgoing like Lindor. Those guys have the type of personality that craves the spotlight while Bogaerts tends to shy away from it. Bogaerts has emerged as a leader in the Red Sox clubhouse but he prefers to lead by example without being particularly outspoken.
An example was in the first inning of the All-Star Game when Bogaerts was mic’d up for his at-bat against Max Scherzer. The broadcast booth attempted to engage in a conversation about how he would approach the three-time Cy Young winner but Bogaerts was too locked in to pay attention. He mumbled a response about expecting a fastball but offered little else. It was not a fastball – Bogaerts struck out on a slider to end the inning. Joe Buck attempted to playfully jab at Bogaerts for guessing wrong and the Red Sox shortstop brushed him off.
Bogaerts would later comment that his concentration level wasn’t where it needed to be while he was mic’d up. It sounds like he wasn’t pleased to have Buck in his ear (who would be?). It’s probably no coincidence that Bogaerts delivered hits in the two plate appearances where he wasn’t wearing the microphone.
It’s understandable why a hitter would find this process distracting during an at-bat but it gives fans a rare opportunity to get insight from the players in the heat of the action and reveals a bit about their personalities. Several other players appeared to have fun with the chance to converse with the booth. The cold response from Bogaerts might explain why he doesn’t get more of these opportunities to stand out.