Is This The Real Xander Bogaerts?

Photo Credit: AP

The Red Sox shortstop has burst onto the scene in 2018. Will it continue?

One World Series title, a season where he hit .320, reliable defense, and decent line drive power.  Just a few of the good things that have came with Xander Bogaerts’ tenure with the Boston Red Sox.

In 2017, just two years removed from that .320 average, Xander saw his worst season with Boston since 2014.

Contradictory to what the many accomplishments may tell you, Bogaerts’ Red Sox career has yet to fully take off – but there’s hope.  Last year, we saw a significant decline in production following a HBP on the hand in an early July game vs. the Tampa Bay Rays.

Four games in to 2018,  Xander’s plate approach is noticeably different.

He’s hitting a scalding .455 with 5 doubles and a homerun. A different look than the two-strike slap hitter that he became at the end of the season.

Much like he was in Spring Training, Bogaerts is making an effort to pull the ball, and the results have followed.  Not only is he pulling the ball with real power, he is not waiting to do so with two strikes like previous seasons.

The Aruba-born middle infielder has shown flashes of brilliance early in the season throughout his career, only to fall off in the second half; however this season appears to be different.

Throughout his career he’s posted a .293 average in the first half, while only hitting .274 in the second.

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Xander is healthy and it can easily be seen in his swing. Gone are the days of being unable to fully pull his hands through the baseball and now he’s launching the ball with force.

Tim Hyers preached an aggressive approach upon his hiring as the Red Sox new hitting coach and it’s easily identifiable in Bogaerts’ swing. While the rest of the lineup waits to get going, Xander is remaining red hot.

 

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