Xander Bogaerts has finally arrived

Xander Bogaerts burst on to the scene in 2013, showing incredible poise in the big leagues during the Red Sox run to the championship that year. He set his bar too high during that run, as a matter of fact, as he followed it up with a disappointing 2014 season in which he finished with a .240 average, 12 home runs and 138 strikeouts, per ESPN. So, what was different last year? The Red Sox brought in one Stephen Drew to play shortstop, because Xander was struggling defensively at the time. He made 10 errors in 44 games before Drew came in, according to ESPN.

That move was not good for his confidence, to say the least, as he struggled the rest of Xander Boagertsthe way. He couldn’t break out of a months-long slump, and his defense was still bad, as he made 10 errors at 3rd in 99 games in 2014. That’s changing, it would seem, though, as Xander seems to be in a more comfortable place. He’s hitting .291 right now, and he’s capable of drilling the ball. One of the highlights of Tuesday’s 1-0 win was Xander Bogaerts smacking a double off the center field wall in the 7th. He would then come around to score on Rusney Castillo’s RBI single later in the inning.

And it’s not just getting it done with his bat. He’s getting it done with his glove, as well. He’s made 3 more plays than the average shortstop, which ranks 9th among active shortstops according to the Globe. He’s certainly progressed from last year, and it seems that he’s back on track after struggling so much last season. This kid is still 22, and while he’s not a superstar yet, I think he’s finally in a comfortable position. He showed us flashes of what he had in 2013, but he has a chance this season to really tap into his full potential. There’s no impending Stephen Drew signing this year to hurt his confidence, so this is his year to really make the shortstop position his. Hopefully, he can keep this up.

Back To The Future With Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew

Stephen Drew will reportedly return to the Red Sox on a one year prorated deal for 10 million dollars of the 14 million dollar qualifying offer the Red Sox made last offseason as being reported on WEEI.com and first reported by Ken Rosenthal of Fox Sports. With the upcoming draft and struggles of the Sox infield, the time was right to snatch up Drew.

If any team signed Drew up to this point, they would have had to surrender a first round pick to the Sox. After the draft, no compensation would be required. One could say the Evil Empire in New York would have been waiting in the wings on Drew. This was a heads up move by GM Ben Cherington after being swept by the Detroit Tigers, Will Middlebrooks landing again on the disabled list and Xander Bogaerts being inconsistent in the field.

The Sox can now shift Bogaerts back to third base where he played in the World Series and he can be mentored by Drew on how he carries himself in the field and in the clubhouse. With youth, there can be growing pains and this has been the case so far. As for Middlebrooks, after numerous stints on the disabled list and up and down play with the bat, the Sox can also buy time for prospect Gavin Cecchini to develop in the minors.

Another positive sign of this move is that the Sox still believe they can get back into the American League East race and aren’t ready to give up. Drew’s defense and veteran presence will help rebuild chemistry for this 2014 squad. Drew won’t start here right away as he will need a brief rehab assignment in the minors to shake off the rust.

Here’s hoping to a better rest of the Summer from here on out.