The Legend of Xander

Al Zarilla

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I was talking defense only. His bat more than makes up for his glove, and I don't think his glove is a problem... yet. I don't think Xander will still be a SS by the time his next contract expires. When the time comes, I think he has all the tools to be a good defensive 3b, 2014 be damned.

Anyway, over his last 11 games and 51 PA: .366/.471/.829, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 4 home runs, 9bb/8k, and has raised his batting average by .013, obp by .020 and slugging by .044 in that time.

Also, there is this:
April: 54 PA 2bb/9k
May: 120 PA 8bb/28k
June: 116 PA 11bb/15k
July: 58 PA 9bb/10k

Last 47 games and 209 PA: 25bb/31k. First 139 PA: 5bb/31k. 70 more PA, 20 more walks, same amount of Ks. That's pretty remarkable.
Hopefully, he’ll continue to hit to the point where he can play where he wants, like his idol Derek Jeter. That is kind of the way it works. If a guy hits like Xander’s shown he can, he gets a longer rope with his fielding, whether it’s justified or not.
 

ookami7m

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Did anybody catch his postgame comments about being hit on the wrist? Read a tweet saying he was emotional about it - and after last year I can see why - but I can’t find it again. Losing his productivity would be a huge challenge going forward.
 

luckysox

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Basically said it's the same injury as last year, but the pitch was harder (99mph). He said swelling came down after he iced it, but it felt very familiar and he was disheartened, like "oh no, not again." I'd be we don't see him until at least the weekend, and there's a fair chance Lin comes up again and he lands on the DL.
 
Sep 13, 2006
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Weren't X rays negative last year too?
They were. From the article linked below:

"A big part of the reason Bogaerts was so frustrated and concerned was that the pitch got him in the same spot as a ball last season, which visibly impacted his performance the remainder of the season...

Bogaerts’ X-rays also came back negative last season, so he noted he hardly is taking solace in the fact that the pictures came back clean this time around. “No, it doesn’t (make me feel better),” Bogaerts said. “Last year I think it kind of was the same thing, and I don’t want that feeling again.”

https://nesn.com/2018/07/red-sox-notes-xander-bogaerts-shares-update-after-sustaining-hand-contusion/
 

Buzzkill Pauley

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Any word on whether or not he’ll require a DL stint?
They should DL him regardless of the X-rays. Let the swelling go down, and give him some peace of mind so he’s not focused on the possible pain with every swing.

It’s bad timing with Sale and Devers also out, but that can’t be helped. And they’ll both be back soon, anyway.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
I notice that last year they didn't give him any extended rest -- the injury happened just before the ASB, and I guess they figured that would be enough. Maybe they should try a different approach this time. (Or maybe this is the kind of injury where rest really doesn't make any difference?)
 

chawson

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Rays DFA’d Hechavarria, who’s a better short-term fill-in for Bogaerts than anyone we’ve got.

A Hechavarria/Kinsler middle-infield seems like a substantial defensive upgrade over Bogaerts/Nunez.
 

ponch73

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The timing of all of this -- Sale, ERod and Devers on the DL, Xander and Mitch hurt/reeling, bats regressing post-ASB, etc. -- is going to be a formidable test for Cora.

No good deed as Red Sox manager goes unpunished, apparently. Fortunately, I think he's up to the challenge.
 
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radsoxfan

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They should DL him regardless of the X-rays. Let the swelling go down, and give him some peace of mind so he’s not focused on the possible pain with every swing.
I wish there was a better, more sensitive test to detect subtle fractures that would give the team a more accurate timeline for when he will be ready to return.
 

glennhoffmania

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What I'd like to know is, if he's sore enough two days later that he may not be able to play, and it was bad enough that he needed an x-ray after the game, and he's worried about it because of what happened last year, why wasn't he removed from the game when it happened?
 

richgedman'sghost

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If I remember correctly, it was the bottom of the 9th. He took his base because he was the best base running option considering the options on the bench. If the game became tied and there was a 10th inning, chances are he gets replaced. Are you criticizing Cora? That thread just got restarted.
 

glennhoffmania

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If I remember correctly, it was the bottom of the 9th. He took his base because he was the best base running option considering the options on the bench. If the game became tied and there was a 10th inning, chances are he gets replaced. Are you criticizing Cora? That thread just got restarted.
No that wasn't a comment about Cora. If anything it was about the medical staff. I don't really care if he was the best base running option and it was the 9th inning. Clearly the injury was serious enough to require x-rays and possibly some time off, so there is no reason for leaving him in the game at the point. What if he needed to slide and caused more damage? When he stayed in the game I felt pretty optimistic because I assumed that they wouldn't let him stay in if there was any risk of it being at all serious.
 

Cesar Crespo

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Oddly enough, X leads the team in XB/H % at 51%. His career high going into this year was 32%. He's also at a career high HR% at 3.8%, previous high was 2.9% in 2016. He currently has 56 xbh which is tied for his career high in 2016. In 2016, he had 652 at bats. This year, he is at 395.

The most fascinating thing is he is now at a career high 9.6% BB rate considering his very slow start.

First 127 PA: 4bb/26k, .308/.339/.558, .348 BAbip, 03.1% BB rate, 20.5% K rate
Last 321 PA: 39bb/50k .269/.364/.498, .290 BAbip, 12.1% BB rate, 15.6% K rate.
Last 151 PA: 22bb/22k .302/.404/.571, .327 BAbip, 14.6% BB rate, 14.6% K rate.
Last 59 PA: 12bb/4k. .326/.458/.543, .333 BAbip, 20.3% BB rate, 6.8% K rate. The K/BB ratio trend is a very encouraging thing to see. The last 59 PA is also when he came back from his Non DL injury that he was concerned about. So far, so good.

His BB rates have gone from 4.9% -> 8.1% -> 8.8%-> 9.6 from 2015 to 2018 respectively. He's also at a career high .357 OBP atm despite hitting .280. In 2015 he was at .320/.355 and in '16 .294/.356.

His line to date actually looks a lot like his Salem line in 2012
2012: 435 PA 384 AB 59 R 116 H 27 doubles 3 triples, 15 HRs, 64 RBI, 43bb/85k, .302/.378/.505
2018: 448 PA 395 AB 58 R 111 H 36 doubles 3 triples, 17 HRs, 77 RBI, 43bb/76k, .281/.357/.516

It's amazing just how much he has improved as a hitter this season in so many facets. He's also hitting right handers much better. His career OPS vs R is .747 while vs L it is .828. This season, he is at .894 vs R and .790 vs L. He's even been better playing defense recently though I'd rather he be at 3rd and Devers at 1st. I think X would be a plus defender at 3rd and that would make him a fringe MVP candidate. It would be quite hard to find a SS who offers more overall value than X though.
 

NickEsasky

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Red Sox stats had an interesting tweet earlier. It seems to fit the eye test. We haven't seen many of those pulled bombs from earlier in the season lately. He could just be reacting to getting pitched outside more though.

 

TomRicardo

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I think X would be a plus defender at 3rd and that would make him a fringe MVP candidate. It would be quite hard to find a SS who offers more overall value than X though.
He is an slightly above average to plus defender at SS. In fact he is having a good year at SS this year. Why would you move him to 3rd?

There is no way shifting Devers off third to 1B and bringing in a better fielder than Bogaerts would yield an overall positive value because there is no way to acquire SS whose fielding is that much better than Bogaerts to make up for the loss of offensive and some defense of shifting Moreland/Pearce off of first. It is a net negative move.
 

Cesar Crespo

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He is an slightly above average to plus defender at SS. In fact he is having a good year at SS this year. Why would you move him to 3rd?

There is no way shifting Devers off third to 1B and bringing in a better fielder than Bogaerts would yield an overall positive value because there is no way to acquire SS whose fielding is that much better than Bogaerts to make up for the loss of offensive and some defense of shifting Moreland/Pearce off of first. It is a net negative move.
It's obviously not for this year and more for 2020 when Moreland is gone. The opinions on X's defense vary greatly but his offense is so great that it would be very hard to find a better overall player. And moving Devers off 3b doesn't have to include moving X off SS, especially since our 2 best prospects are 3b in Chavis and Dalbec. I just don't think Devers will ever be even an average 3b but I think he has a chance of being a better hitter than Moreland as soon as next season, never mind 2020. Of course, X may not even be here in 2020 so it may not even matter.
 

shaggydog2000

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It's obviously not for this year and more for 2020 when Moreland is gone. The opinions on X's defense vary greatly but his offense is so great that it would be very hard to find a better overall player. And moving Devers off 3b doesn't have to include moving X off SS, especially since our 2 best prospects are 3b in Chavis and Dalbec. I just don't think Devers will ever be even an average 3b but I think he has a chance of being a better hitter than Moreland as soon as next season, never mind 2020. Of course, X may not even be here in 2020 so it may not even matter.
I thought scouts were highest on Devers out of those three for 3B defense? None are supposed to be plus, and I thought Devers was seen as the best shot of being average and the other two were adequate at best.
 

chrisfont9

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He is an slightly above average to plus defender at SS. In fact he is having a good year at SS this year. Why would you move him to 3rd?

There is no way shifting Devers off third to 1B and bringing in a better fielder than Bogaerts would yield an overall positive value because there is no way to acquire SS whose fielding is that much better than Bogaerts to make up for the loss of offensive and some defense of shifting Moreland/Pearce off of first. It is a net negative move.
I feel like I read very recently that Bogaerts hates playing third.
 

Red(s)HawksFan

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I feel like I read very recently that Bogaerts hates playing third.
Globe, August 11

Bogaerts said he always believed he was a good player. He came up as a 20-year-old, so you have to be really good to do that. But he did go through some learning years.

He was switched to third base at one point and hated it. He always wanted to be a shortstop, but he wasn’t always the best shortstop. Now he’s one of the best.
Reads like the attitude of a confident young player with goals. I imagine Cal Ripken felt the same way when he was playing 3B early in his career. He reached a point later in his career where he understood moving to 3B was in his and the team's best interest. If it ever comes to that point (and it's likely well into his future), I'm sure Bogaerts will do the same thing.
 

grimshaw

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I'm sure Scott Boras would be happy to accommodate any reasonable request to lower his clients value. If the Sox tried to move him to 3rd entering free agency he'd probably peace out.

Internally the only guy who could threaten his position eventually is 17 years old - Antoni Flores. I don't see Chatham usurping him at this rate.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I thought scouts were highest on Devers out of those three for 3B defense? None are supposed to be plus, and I thought Devers was seen as the best shot of being average and the other two were adequate at best.
I dunno. Scouts project Dalbec to be an average 3b with a chance to be above average. They aren't as high on Chavis. They both have plus arms, with Dalbecs slightly stronger and Chavis more accurate. I'm very close to Hadlock field but I haven't seen Dalbec or Chavis in Portland this year because they arrived later in the season. I saw Chavis a bit last year and he looked stiff and jerky. He's also been playing some 1b this year while Dalbec has been strictly playing 3b.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I'm sure Scott Boras would be happy to accommodate any reasonable request to lower his clients value. If the Sox tried to move him to 3rd entering free agency he'd probably peace out.

Internally the only guy who could threaten his position eventually is 17 years old - Antoni Flores. I don't see Chatham usurping him at this rate.
Except in 2020 X has either already signed a long term deal with the Redsox or he signed somewhere else. Moving him to 3b next year would make no sense since Mitch Moreland is still on the team. After that, I don't think it would be too hard in 2020 to find a SS who offers similar value to Mitch Moreland at 1b. Someone like Jose Iglesias. He'd might hit a little worse, but the defensive improvement at SS and 3b would make up for the less offense going from Moreland to Iglesias and worse defense at 1b. That assumes Devers is as good or better than Moreland offensively by 2020. And it wouldn't actually be Iglesias, as he is a FA after this year, a year too early.

I guess a lot of it would depend on how much stock you put into defensive metrics and if you believe the difference between a good SS and a bad one is worth 3-4 wins a year. If you go by WAR, Nick Ahmad has been as good as Xander Bogaerts this year.
 

Reverend

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Globe, August 11

Reads like the attitude of a confident young player with goals. I imagine Cal Ripken felt the same way when he was playing 3B early in his career. He reached a point later in his career where he understood moving to 3B was in his and the team's best interest. If it ever comes to that point (and it's likely well into his future), I'm sure Bogaerts will do the same thing.
We also had a lot of qualitative evidence that his period of clear defensive badness a couple years ago was a function of being tight.

We know he's a thoughtful player--I agree that giving him a new position that he would interpret as a personal failure might not be the greatest way to develop him, yeah?
 

shaggydog2000

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I dunno. Scouts project Dalbec to be an average 3b with a chance to be above average. They aren't as high on Chavis. They both have plus arms, with Dalbecs slightly stronger and Chavis more accurate. I'm very close to Hadlock field but I haven't seen Dalbec or Chavis in Portland this year because they arrived later in the season. I saw Chavis a bit last year and he looked stiff and jerky. He's also been playing some 1b this year while Dalbec has been strictly playing 3b.
I know Chavis was supposed to be not so great a fielder, and thought Dalbec was in the same bin, but maybe he has a higher ceiling. I think it would take a lot to convince me to move Xander off of SS.
 

Cesar Crespo

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I know Chavis was supposed to be not so great a fielder, and thought Dalbec was in the same bin, but maybe he has a higher ceiling. I think it would take a lot to convince me to move Xander off of SS.
The fact that Chavis is the one getting reps at 1b leads me to believe the Sox think Dalbec is the better 3b. I could be wrong making that assumption. Scouting reports have always been a little more favorable towards Dalbec too. A lot of the questions regarding Dalbec around 3b is the fact he's 6'4.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
Xander is now within one HR and two doubles of becoming the 15th Red Sox player ever to hit 20 HR and 40 doubles in the same season. Mookie, who has done it twice before, is within three doubles of doing it again. That would be the third time two Sox players have hit those marks in a season -- the previous ones being Manny and Ortiz in 2004, and Mookie and Ortiz in 2016.

Martinez and (less likely) Benintendi also have a shot at doing it -- Martinez needs six doubles, while Benintendi needs five doubles and five HR. There has never been a season when four Sox players hit 40 doubles and 20 HR -- but there was one season when three guys did it. Can you name the season and the three players?

2011: Ellsbury (32/46), Ortiz (29/40), Gonzalez (27/45)
 

SirPsychoSquints

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Xander is now within one HR and two doubles of becoming the 15th Red Sox player ever to hit 20 HR and 40 doubles in the same season. Mookie, who has done it twice before, is within three doubles of doing it again. That would be the third time two Sox players have hit those marks in a season -- the previous ones being Manny and Ortiz in 2004, and Mookie and Ortiz in 2016.

Martinez and (less likely) Benintendi also have a shot at doing it -- Martinez needs six doubles, while Benintendi needs five doubles and five HR. There has never been a season when four Sox players hit 40 doubles and 20 HR -- but there was one season when three guys did it. Can you name the season and the three players?

2011: Ellsbury (32/46), Ortiz (29/40), Gonzalez (27/45)
As far as I can tell, there have only been 4 sets of three teammates who have achieved this - the above spoiled Sox team, plus:
  1. 1996 Orioles - Palmeiro 29/40, Alomar 22/43, Ripken 26/40
  2. 1998 Rangers - Clark 23/41, Ivan Rodriguez 21/40, Gonzalez 45/50
  3. 2005 Rangers - Teixeira 43/41, Soriano 36/43, Michael Young 36/43
 

Pitt the Elder

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It seems like we're on the cusp of peak Xander, which is pretty exciting. Maybe this ends up being his career year, but it's easy to feel bullish on a 25-year-old that seems to be putting everything together.

Btw, it's interesting to see how lineup construction is impacting some of the underlying stats for our guys this year. Xander has 82 rbi and only 62 runs scored while Mookie has only 64 rbi and 103 runs scored. The extreme weakness of the bottom third of the order relative to the rest of the lineup was really a black hole for much of this season. Hopefully, some combination of Devers, Kinsler, JBJ, and Leon/Swihart can provide the kind of lineup depth down the stretch and into the playoffs that would make this offense even scarier.
 

Savin Hillbilly

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The wrong side of the bridge....
It's crazy that Bogaerts is somehow quietly putting together the best season of his career.
Right in step with Mookie--and it actually makes sense given that they're both 25.

And he had a DL stint. He is making sure JD isn’t pitched around. Having a fantastic year.
Right, he missed 15 games -- more than I remembered. Even if you assume he would have sat for one of them anyway, with 14 more games at his season-long pace he would now have 21 HR, 43 doubles, 70 runs scored, 93 RBI and 5.0 fWAR -- in August.

Helluva year.
 

charlieoscar

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As far as I can tell, there have only been 4 sets of three teammates who have achieved this - the above spoiled Sox team, plus:
  1. 1996 Orioles - Palmeiro 29/40, Alomar 22/43, Ripken 26/40
  2. 1998 Rangers - Clark 23/41, Ivan Rodriguez 21/40, Gonzalez 45/50
  3. 2005 Rangers - Teixeira 43/41, Soriano 36/43, Michael Young 36/43
And
2006 Washington Nationals -- Nick Johnson 46/23, Ryan Zimmerman 47/20, Alfonso Soriano 41/46
 

tonyarmasjr

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It seems like we're on the cusp of peak Xander, which is pretty exciting. Maybe this ends up being his career year, but it's easy to feel bullish on a 25-year-old that seems to be putting everything together.

Btw, it's interesting to see how lineup construction is impacting some of the underlying stats for our guys this year. Xander has 82 rbi and only 62 runs scored while Mookie has only 64 rbi and 103 runs scored. The extreme weakness of the bottom third of the order relative to the rest of the lineup was really a black hole for much of this season. Hopefully, some combination of Devers, Kinsler, JBJ, and Leon/Swihart can provide the kind of lineup depth down the stretch and into the playoffs that would make this offense even scarier.
The saving grace of that part of the order is that all the guys at the bottom have had some hot stretches - but they've come at different times. Nunez sucked while Holt was good, then they flipped. JBJ was awful for awhile, but Devers was hitting decently. Swihart had a nice little stretch while Leon and Vazquez were worthless. There seems to have been 1 or 2 guys at any given time in those 6-9 spots that have been able to buoy the bottom of the lineup.
 

Cesar Crespo

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The saving grace of that part of the order is that all the guys at the bottom have had some hot stretches - but they've come at different times. Nunez sucked while Holt was good, then they flipped. JBJ was awful for awhile, but Devers was hitting decently. Swihart had a nice little stretch while Leon and Vazquez were worthless. There seems to have been 1 or 2 guys at any given time in those 6-9 spots that have been able to buoy the bottom of the lineup.
It hasn't even been that bad since the last week or so of June anyway. JBJ has been great since 6/24 (.288/.350/.528 on a .351 BAbip in 180 PA) and is close to being league average for the year and Devers was never bad to begin with. Brock Holt has been decent too. With Kinsler replacing Nunez, everyone in the lineup should be close to a 100 OPS+ outside of whoever is catching... and Swihart has been hitting too though SSS (.321/.367/.464 on a .404 BAbip in 60 PA).

Even if JBJ reverts to 2017 levels it greatly changes the lineup. A slightly below league average hitter is still a huge improvement over the .178/.276/.288 line he put up in his first 251 PA this year, never mind if he continues to hit like 2015-2016 JBJ. That would give the Sox 5 (or 6 if you count the Moreland/Pearce combo) players who are well above average to elite bats in their lineup, with Devers and Kinsler close to average.

Also including the addition of Pearce, this lineup is much better and deeper than it was in June.
 

kelpapa

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As far as I can tell, there have only been 4 sets of three teammates who have achieved this - the above spoiled Sox team, plus:
  1. 1996 Orioles - Palmeiro 29/40, Alomar 22/43, Ripken 26/40
  2. 1998 Rangers - Clark 23/41, Ivan Rodriguez 21/40, Gonzalez 45/50
  3. 2005 Rangers - Teixeira 43/41, Soriano 36/43, Michael Young 36/43
Michael Young had 24 HRs and 40 2Bs that year, which still fits that category. Looks like you copied Soriano's into his spot. I couldn't believe Young had ever hit 36 homers in one season, and got a little confused.
 

Pitt the Elder

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Amidst his current hot stretch, Xander is up to 4.7 fWAR, nearly matching his career high (4.8 fWAR in 2016). He's looking awfully comfortable in the cleanup role and doing a credible job justifying the spot, with a triple slash of .291/.363/.528.