Xander Bogaerts first Boston shortstop with 30 homers and 100 RBI since Nomar Garciaparra
Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts has been regarded as one of the best at his position for years now, but this 2019 season is already the best of his career.
After the Red Sox signed Bogaerts to a six-year, $120 million contract extension that will begin in 2020, the 26-year-old from Aruba has responded by slashing .311/.389/.577 with a 147 wRC+ and 100 runs scored. And when he homered against the Colorado Rockies on Wednesday night, Bogaerts became the first Red Sox shortstop to hit 30 homers and drive in 100 runs since Nomar Garciaparra accomplished the feat in 1998:
— MLB Stats (@MLBStats) August 29, 2019
Nomar Garciaparra is undoubtedly one of the best shortstops in Red Sox history, but Bogaerts might just be on the verge of eclipsing even a prime Garciappara. Nomar posted 7.3 fWAR in 1998 and 7.6 fWAR in 2000. Through his first 129 games of 2019, Bogaerts has already posted a career-high 6.3 fWAR, and there is reason to believe that he could surpass 7.6 fWAR should he finish the regular season campaign with a flurry.
Xander Bogaerts has not just been the best player on the Red Sox, but also has the fourth-highest fWAR in baseball. He leads all shortstops in nearly every major statistical category offensively (technically Alex Bregman has scored more runs and has a higher wRC+, but he is primarily a third baseman).
Although he has been quite the catalyst for a Boston offense that ranked second in the MLB in runs scored entering play on Thursday, Boston’s pitching staff has been a major disappointment and might ultimately be the reason that the Red Sox miss the playoffs.