Xander Bogaerts is Carrying the Red Sox’ Offense

Xander Bogaerts is Carrying the Red Sox’ Offense

by May 4, 2022 0 comments

Entering the season, Xander Bogaerts‘s future with the Boston Red Sox was uncertain. The Aruba native is under contract until 2026 but has an opt-out at the end of this year. The 29-year-old wants a contract in line with the top shortstops in baseball and won’t discuss an extension during the season. Through the first few weeks of the 2022 campaign, he is showing why he is so valuable.

In 22 games, Bogaerts has posted a .369 batting average with nine runs batted in. He also has nine extra-base hits, and he is tied for first on the team in doubles. While the Red Sox offense has struggled to find its rhythm, Bogaerts has been on fire.

Additionally, Bogaerts leads the Red Sox in hits with 31. So far this season, he has eight multi-hit games, including two four-hit games against Toronto. The shortstop has drawn six walks and been Boston’s best hitter. In his last seven games, the former top prospect is hitting above .400 and has one stolen base. He is also holding his own defensively.

Through 176.1 innings, Bogaerts has committed four errors and turned eight double plays. Although his fielding percentage is currently .937, Bogaerts has added a few impressive catches to his resume. On a Red Sox team that has had a rough start, he has been a bright spot at the plate and at times in the field. His performance has only validated his request for a new contract.

Among the Best at his Position

Entering play on Tuesday, Bogaerts ranked among the league’s best. He has the second-highest OPS and batting average among shortstops in the American League, trailing only J.P. Crawford. If you were to factor in the National League, the rankings remain the same. The three-time All-Star also has more hits and doubles than Crawford, who has six fewer at-bats. Through the first few weeks of the season, Bogaerts has been unstoppable at the plate.

As the Red Sox look to turn their season around, the performance of Bogaerts will be critical. He currently leads the Red Sox in almost every offensive category and has posted a .439 average in his last 15 games. Bogaerts won’t carry that average all season, but he has not finished a season hitting below .290 since 2018.

While a new contract would come with an annual average in the $30 million range, his bat would not be easy to replace. Bogaerts is currently on pace to have one of the best seasons of his career with no signs of slowing down. Even if the Red Sox wait until the offseason to engage in contract discussions, giving him a new deal will be a top priority.

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Main Image Credit: Embed from Getty Images

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