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Wednesday, May 05, 2021

Quiet Production

I was thinking of posting something about JD Martinez terrorizing pitchers, or marveling at Rafael Devers, or maybe something about the excellence of the pitching staff. And then it hit me: we never seem to say anything about Xander Bogaerts.

And maybe we don’t need to say much, y’know? We all know he’s awesome. He just goes out and gets it done every game. At no point has he been considered the best SS in the game, but right now you could make an argument that he has been the best. Quiet production will do that.

Feel free to make the case here, for or against. Or just post your appreciation, because we are fortunate to watch this guy play every day - even if we don’t say it enough.

villageidiom Posted: May 05, 2021 at 09:52 AM | 15 comment(s) Login to Bookmark
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   1. villageidiom Posted: May 05, 2021 at 10:14 AM (#6017048)
FWIW, my phone autocorrected "Devers" to "Fevers" and "Bogaerts" to "Hogwarts" in typing this up. Which is fine, I guess, because Devers is a hot hitter and Bogaerts is... uh, schooling the wizards?
   2. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 05, 2021 at 10:28 AM (#6017051)
I was reading something pre-season and it talked about fantasy players and it just said of Bogaerts "is there anyone more guaranteed than Xander?" The dude is just rock solid.
   3. John DiFool2 Posted: May 05, 2021 at 01:45 PM (#6017077)
I hear RHP Harry Potter will be our next amateur signing. Has a nasty Snitchball.
   4. pikepredator Posted: May 05, 2021 at 02:25 PM (#6017089)
Hogwarts Fever. It's catching!

Even commenting in a thread like this makes me scared that they'll also trade Xander. He's fantastic. If only we had more home-grown, young superstars . . .
   5. villageidiom Posted: May 05, 2021 at 09:31 PM (#6017212)
We need Xander to step it up and prevent all balls in play from reaching Franchy Cordero. Ye gods.
   6. Jose Is An Absurd Balladeer Posted: May 06, 2021 at 09:17 AM (#6017267)
I'm reaching the point where I just feel bad for Franchy. He's absolutely helpless out there on both sides of the ball.
   7. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 06, 2021 at 03:11 PM (#6017352)
I'm reaching the point where I just feel bad for Franchy. He's absolutely helpless out there on both sides of the ball.


Benintendi has been on a tear this past month - he's up to a 121 OPS+. I'm not upset about the trade at all, Benintendi certainly looked like he needed a change, but it is a bummer to have Franchy struggling so much.
   8. The Mighty Quintana Posted: May 10, 2021 at 03:22 PM (#6018069)
I think we are a few days from Duran Duran, Olympics be damned. If Cora was comparing him to Sizemore this spring, then you know he's bugging Bloom every week.
   9. Darren Posted: May 11, 2021 at 11:52 AM (#6018256)
Advanced defensive stats are what stand between Xander and superstardom:

Metric, Total, /yr
DRS, -61, -8
TZ, -63, -9
UZR, -2.2, -0.2

I think we can all agree that UZR is 100 percent correct. :)

What does his next contract look like? He can opt out after 2022, and seems very likely to. After the dust settles on the Seager, Corea, Story free agency this offseason, we'll have a better idea. But my current guess is that to lock him up this offseason would take something like replacing his current deal with 6/$180M. That would be his current $20 for 2022 and then 5 years at $32M a year after that. (Of course, I vastly overestimated what it would take to sign him last time.)
   10. Steve Balboni's Personal Trainer Posted: May 11, 2021 at 12:22 PM (#6018261)
Since about 2015, I've been thinking of Xander as Robin Yount - starting very early, uneven with the bat, but got it going by age 25. Yount's biggest advantage was that Milwaukee just stuck Yount out there starting at age 18, was fine with a super-young guy who (through age 23) had 871 hits, no Gold Gloves, and an OPS+ of 89. But they knew he had a much higher ceiling.

That's the way I've always looked at Xander - started really young, hyped as a prospect from day one, and if you stick with him, he's going to be outstanding eventually. Neither Yount nor Xander were/are considered elite defensively, nor were they regularly thought of as the best SS in the league or the sport (Yount had the megayear in 1982, which was also his only Gold Glove, and one of only three All-Star Games he made). But after 1983, he settled back down to a level of very good outfielder. In fact outside of his two MVP years, he never finished higher than 11th in the MVP vote - but ended up being a first-ballot HOFer.

Xander is behind Yount's pace on the counting stats, only because Yount was playing every day at the age of 18, but he is poised to quickly catch up. He already has more Silver Slugger awards than Yount did, and assuming Xander makes the ASG this summer, he'll tie Yount for ASG appearances. He also already has two rings, while Yount never won a World Series. Also, if Xander can stay at SS longer than Yount (who only played about 55% of his career at SS), that probably would help the narrative of his career.

What Xander needs is an MVP year. As long as Mike Trout is being Mike Trout, it is going to be tough for other players to win the AL MVP. But that is about the only thing Xander needs to do, besides just stay healthy, to achieve a Hall of Fame career, IMO.
   11. Bad Fish Posted: May 11, 2021 at 02:14 PM (#6018288)
Xander has a little under 25 WAR at the start of the season, this year he is on pace for 7.5. He is 28, his contemporaries in the discussion of best SS of his ERA are Lindor, who is one year younger and Correra who is two years younger, and they are both ranked in front of him on the HOF monitor at BB Ref, but not by much, they both also have more career WAR in several hundred fewer games.

To get any serious HOF consideration he needs to have 3 or 4 consecutive 6-8 WAR years where he is considered the best SS in baseball, I agree that some black ink and an MVP would really help, and then a pretty productive tail through age 35 so he can he can get into the 65+ WAR range.
   12. Darren Posted: May 11, 2021 at 02:59 PM (#6018309)
How about Miguel Tejada for a comp? Good batting average, good power, durable. Ends up at 47.1 rWAR for his career. Tejada is probably a better fielder, Xander has better discipline.

Xander has a shot at the HOF, but no one is a likely HOF at 28 except the super-elite.
   13. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 11, 2021 at 03:22 PM (#6018318)
I see him more as Jeter. A bit of a stumble out of the gate aside Bogaerts is pretty similar to him. Never really the best SS in the game, but very solid. Can X peak a little later with the bat and keep up Rbat-wise? And can he play until 38/40? Cause that's what it's going to take to get to the HoF.
   14. Darren Posted: May 11, 2021 at 04:38 PM (#6018336)
Time will tell but I see Bogaerts as more a power hitter than Jeter was. I agree, though, that they are similar in that they were/are consistently good to excellent while not being good defensive shortstops.
   15. jacksone (AKA It's OK...) Posted: May 12, 2021 at 08:58 AM (#6018505)

Time will tell but I see Bogaerts as more a power hitter than Jeter was. I agree, though, that they are similar in that they were/are consistently good to excellent while not being good defensive shortstops.


Yeah, looking at ISO Xander does look more like Tejada than Jeter. It's funny, I would have thought Tejada had a higher/longer peak than he did, and I would have definitely guessed that he'd hit over 40 hr's at least 2-3 seasons. Really thought he was pushing A Rod for the top SS spot more than he actually was.

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