The progression of Xander Bogaerts took another step forward in 2016. In 2015, he earned a Silver Slugger award in the American League, but he'd hit just seven homers and had an unsustainable BABIP (.372). The expected power hadn't yet developed and we were curious to see what his numbers would look like when BABIP corrected, which it did in 2016 (.335). The results were encouraging. The 24-year-old's power bat arrived, belting 21 homers with a .152 ISO and he bumped his walk rate to 8.1 percent. Slashing a respectable .294/.356/.446, Bogaerts was a first-time All-Star and earned a second Silver Slugger award. The advanced metrics indicate more runs created and better plate discipline, but it wasn't all good in 2016. There was a continuous fall from his season high .529 slugging and .934 OPS on June 11, to .392/.717 from that point on. Bogaerts is getting closer to a breakout year, which will come when he eliminates the prolonged slumps.
Bogaerts agreed to a one-year deal with the Red Sox on Friday, avoiding arbitration. Terms of the agreement were not available. Bogaerts set a career high last season in home runs (21), steals (13), runs (115) and RBI (89). He should continue to be a five-category force at shortstop in 2017.
Bogaerts went 1-for-4 with his 21st homer and two strikeouts in Thursday's loss to the Yankees. Bogaerts now has more home runs in 154 games this season than he did in 318 coming into 2016. The 23-year-old shortstop has already set career highs in counting stats across the board with three games to play. He likely won't appear in all three, though, given that Boston rested five starters in this one.
Bogaerts is not in the lineup Thursday against the Orioles, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports. After playing every game since Aug. 14, Bogaerts will give way to Brock Holt at shortstop. Over his last three games, Bogaerts has gone just 2-for-12 with five strikeouts.
Bogaerts went 3-for-4 with an RBI double, two-run homer and three runs in Saturday's 6-5 victory over the Yankees. The dynamic shortstop was lethal Saturday, plating Andrew Benintendi with a third-inning double and following up with a two-run shot in the fifth that brought home Jackie Bradley, Jr. to close the Yankees lead to 5-4. Bogaerts has hit safely in five of his last seven games and has now exceeded the 10 RBI he tallied in August over just 15 September contests.
Bogaerts went 1-for-3 with a double and a run scored in Boston's win over the Yankees on Friday. Bogaerts is still fighting at the plate, having hit just .214 over 42 games since Aug. 1. His seasonal batting average finally dropped below .300 this week, the first time its been there since Apr. 30. He's had prolonged droughts in the past and has always snapped out of them, so we're not overly concerned at this point. Red Sox manager John Farrell might give him a day of rest at some point, but with Boston fighting for a playoff spot, Bogaerts' slumping bat is still better than what's available to Farrell on Boston's bench.