Now more than halfway through the baseball season, the 88th MLB All-Star Game is just a week away. A selection show on ESPN reminiscent of Selection Sunday in college basketball revealed three Red Sox are going to Miami. Mookie Betts and Craig Kimbrel will be reserves and Chris Sale could very well be the AL’s starting pitcher. When you fill out your vote for the final ballot ask yourself: is Xander Bogaerts All-Star Worthy?
Red Sox fans can remember in 2015 when the “X for ASG” campaign failed to get Bogaerts in on the final ballot vote. After being the league’s starting shortstop in 2016, Bogaerts is right back in the final ballot scenario. A tireless workhorse this year, Bogaerts finds himself in a log-jammed position behind stars like Carlos Correa and Francisco Lindor. Let’s see if he deserves a spot among the best.
In the final five players eligible for the final vote, there are three shortstops. Among those three, Bogaerts is by far the best and has the best numbers. So he has that going for him, which is nice. DiDi Gregorious has missed too much time to catch up to Bogaerts and Elvis Andrus just doesn’t matchup in any facet. Mike Moustakas has some great power numbers but nothing else and Logan Morrison is the last guy on the ballot and if you don’t know who he is you certainly aren’t alone.
As far as his numbers go, they are All-Star worthy. Among AL shortstops, Bogaerts ranks second in hits (95), batting average (.314), OBP (.366) and doubles (20). He is also first in triples (4) and third in runs scored (49). Not to be lost in this, he has been the most consistent hitter on a first place team. Gregorious’ team is behind his in the standings and Andrus’ Rangers are below .500. Bogaerts has been a catalyst on a team that’s one of the hottest in baseball at the moment.
Moving on from pure statistics, Bogaerts is one of the best defenders in arguably the most important position on the diamond. Rare is it that he ever makes an error or is out of position. Much like Carlos Correa, he is a big guy with exceptional range and make spectacular plays moving to their left. I’d go as far as saying that Bogaerts is a carbon copy of Correa minus the power. Obviously that’s a big distinction but he does everything else at an All-Star level.
So yeah, Bogaerts should be an All-Star. Unfortunately for him and Red Sox fans, All-Star voting is seldom about who should be in the game. I think he’s the best player available on the final ballot. There’s something we do have to take in consideration though: one of the other guys is a Royal. With a mediocre team in a mediocre city, those Royals fans have nothing better to do than vote for their players all day. All I’m saying is Bogaerts deserves a spot but don’t be surprised if it’s Mike Moustakas.