The man the Red Sox have invested in with a 6-year contract extension is making the club feel pretty comfortable with that decision. Xander Bogaerts has had himself a phenomenal year, but he isn’t getting the love he deserves in regards to all-star voting.
It’s been obvious for years now but I’ll continue to scream this to the heavens until it’s taken away. MLB All-Star fan voting just doesn’t work and Bogaert’s current positioning on the ballot does nothing but prove that.
It’s understated how talented the American League is at the shortstop position. Between the big names like Francisco Lindor–one of my personal favorites–and the lightning rod of the year thus far, Tim Anderson, it’s a crowded field of star power. And the list obviously doesn’t stop there. Minnesota has one of the best hitters in the game at shortstop this season in Jorge Polanco and he’s leading the American League in votes right now which is well warranted.
But the fact that Xander Bogaerts isn’t even in the top five for vote-getters is laughable.
Per Fangraphs, he leads Major League shortstops in WAR with a 3.5, runs with 58, doubles with 24, XBH with 38, RBIs with 49, walks with 45 and OBP at .392 (recorded from the Red Sox team notes). Let me say this again. It’s not the American League that he leads with these numbers, it’s all of Major League Baseball.
Amongst those stats, he’s proven himself to be one of the best gloves at the position in the game as well. Frankly, this doesn’t come down to any devotion to one team in particular. As previously mentioned, the rest of these shortstops who are receiving votes deserve to have that recognition. But are these votes supposed to be representative of the names that resonate the most amongst the MLB fanbase or the best of the best at each position on the field? Because frankly, as it stands today, he should at the very least be in the conversation as the best current shortstop in the American League.
His lack of recognition isn’t going unnoticed by Bogaerts himself either. Per Rob Bradford of WEEI.com, Bogaerts had this to say about his inability to get to the Midsummer Classic; “These past few years every time I’ve come up just short even though my numbers have been up there or better than most of the guys… It’s just so weird. I just miss out when in my opinion I should have been there. I just feel like it’s a routine, every year the same thing. It’s kind of getting annoying. But I don’t know what to do.”
Truthfully, what else is Bogaerts supposed to do to get himself out in front of fans? He’s been as productive as anyone in the game–and in most cases, he’s been more productive–and has earned the right to be at least a top five vote getter.
As of June 21st, Bogaerts is hitting for a .300 BA, a .392 OBP, a .536 SLG and has a .928 OPS.
There’s no other way to spin this conversation. Xander Bogaerts is at a minimum, a top five shortstop in the American League today and the votes should reflect that as well.