Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Will Xander Bogaerts Be Boston’s X Factor In 2014?

Xander Bogaerts played a big role in The Boston Red Sox winning the 2013 World Series. The young utility infielder stepped in and produced both defensively and at the plate in place of struggling third baseman Will Middlebrooks. While Middlebrooks is still a viable option at third base, Bogaerts showcased a smooth glove and a calm approach at the plate on the biggest stage in baseball. He did everything you could ask of a young player without hesitation.

H.Darr Beiser-USA TODAY Sports

His productivity becomes even more important with the departure of Jacoby Ellsbury.  As good as Jackie Bradley Jr. is defensively, someone is going to have to make up his lack of offense. If his minor league production can translate to a full season of MLB action, Bogaerts has the capability to be a .300 hitter that could rack up 25 blasts and 75-80 runs a year.

Bogaerts seems to have “it”. His MLB stat line is a small sample, but he shows the kind of moxie that you want in a young player. He can solidify himself as a long term option at third base, which would give Boston the luxury of shopping Middlebrooks along with one of the teams extra starting pitchers, as Peter Abraham suggested a few days ago in The Boston Globe.

While the talent of a young prospect can never be guaranteed (just look at Middlebrooks performance last year), the upside to Bogaerts seems to be a much greater value than the chances of failure. He has the look and patience of a future all star, the versatility to play either shortstop or third, and a swing that will only get better with time. With all of the talk about the established stars in Boston’s lineup, people are sleeping on Bogaerts. Don’t sleep on him for too long, he very well could be the X Factor for the defending World Series Champions.

Do you think Xander Bogaerts can be a long term solution at third base, or do you think Will Middlebrooks will rebound in 2014? Tell us what you think in the comments section below.




Tags: Boston Red Sox Will Middlebrooks Xander Bogaerts

  • ms_gkygrl

    Been keeping my eyes on Xander and think he’ll do well. Lots of potential and lots of patience. He’ll be quite valuable.

    • John Ackeren

      Thanks for your comment. I think his future is bright as well.

  • Denny Truong

    As much as I love Xander, I would love to see WMB start at 3rd comes April. While that would allow Xander to stay at short, it will give Middlebrooks a chance to prove he’s capable of bouncing back and hit, say 30 blasts next seasons. That is much needed protection behind Napoli and Ortiz. 2013 came as suppose to be a transition year. While we won it all last year, it is not wise to stop the transition to the next wave of stars, so letting go of Drew would seem reasonable. Of course, bringing Drew back makes Sox stronger in 2014, it does block WMB path to bounce back. If he and Jackie Bradley hit their potentials, how about this lineup?
    CF Jackie Bradley Jr.
    RF Shane Victorino
    2B Dustin Pedroia
    DH David Ortiz
    1B Mike Napoli
    SS Xander Bogaerts
    3B Will Middlebrooks
    LF Daniel Nava
    C A.J Pierzynsky (after 2014 comes Christian Vasques or Dan Butler, Blake Swihart right behind)
    Hey, remember we still have Mookie Betts and Garin Cechini waiting, too.

    • John Ackeren

      I hope that both WMB and Xander are productive and around for a long time Denny. If they can both produce at high levels just think about the future for The Sox.

  • Rick M

    Will be an MLB super star. The prospect of this century. Put him at SS and worry about nothing at that position for ten+ years.

    • John Ackeren

      It would be great to see that happen. He has the potential. I would just like to see him get in a full season at the MLB level to show us what he is capable of. Thanks for posting a comment Rick.

  • stully.ALCHAMPS

    the sound of the ball off his bat already excites me throw in his plate discipline and defense were in for a great future watchin bogey…p.s. just ordered his new #2 jersey and its already on back order which means the city and fans already love him

    • John Ackeren

      There is a ton of buzz with young Xander. I can see how they would be out of his jersey. Lol