Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts earns another Silver Slugger
Bogaerts hit .295 with 23 home runs, 79 RBI and 90 runs scored this season. He led qualified American League shortstops with a .370 OBP, .493 SLG, .863 OPS, and .368 wOBA. His 130 wRC+ and 5.2 fWAR trailed only Houston’s Carlos Correa among AL shortstops.
Shortstop is arguably the most loaded position in the majors. While much of the star power resides in the National League, Bogaerts faced solid competition for the award, beating out Correa, Bo Bichette and Tim Anderson from the list of finalists.
His latest Silver Slugger award places Bogaerts in exclusive company. Only four other shortstops have ever won the award at least four times since it was introduced in 1980: Barry Larkin (9), Cal Ripken Jr. (8), Alex Rodriguez (7), and Derek Jeter (5).
Four Silver Sluggers is also a significant achievement from a franchise history standpoint regardless of position. Only three players have won the award more than four times as a member of the Red Sox: David Ortiz (7), Wade Boggs (6) and Manny Ramirez (6).
Bogaerts is well on his way to establishing himself as the greatest Red Sox shortstop ever. He currently ranks in the top-five at the position in many offensive categories on the franchise’s all-time leaders.
AVG: .290 (5th)
SLG: .459 (5th)
HR: 141 (3rd)
RBI: 610 (4th)
Runs: 668 (3rd)
Games: 1114 (3rd)
WAR: 31.6 (3rd)
The 29-year-old’s career is far from over, leaving him plenty of time to add to those totals if he remains in Boston. Bogaerts has the opportunity to opt-out of his contract after the 2022 season but it’s widely expected that exercising that clause would be done as a step toward renegotiating a new long-term deal with the Red Sox.
In addition to Bogaerts winning a Silver Slugger, Rafael Devers took home the award for the first time in his career. Only three other AL teammates have ever won the award at the shortstop and third base positions in the same season: Miguel Tejada and Melvin Mora (Orioles – 2004), Jeter and A-Rod (Yankees – 2008), Francisco Lindor and Jose Ramirez (Indians – 2018).
Boston’s defense on the left side of the infield remains a bit shaky but from an offensive standpoint, it doesn’t get any better at those positions than the duo of Bogaerts and Devers. There have been whispers about the Red Sox toying with the idea of moving both players to other positions at some point down the line, possibly even by next season. As long as both of their bats remain in the lineup, the Red Sox will continue to benefit from these young stars.