Xander and the Red Sox

Xander and the Red Sox

Xander Bogaerts is ready to burst out in 2014.

Nicholas Burgos

The future is bright for the Boston Red Sox, they seem to be getting older but there are many young players ready to have a breakout season in 2014.

None of them are more anticipated than that of Xander Bogaerts. This shinning young star relished in the chance to play towards the end of the season for the Red Sox and excelled in the postseason. His demeanor and composure during the ALDS, ALCS, and the World Series showed how much potential he has.

 

The only question is whether he will play shortstop or third base this upcoming season. With Stephen Drew in limbo on a new contract it is starting to seem like he will play shortstop and Middlebrooks will be at third base.

I personally would like to see Xander stay at short and have the Sox give up on Drew in general. Drew is asking for more money than he can produce for. While he was a decent .253 hitter last year but struck out more than he hit.

In the postseason, Drew butchered any chance at getting more money than the $14.1 offered by Cherington in the offseason by batting 6-54. Never have I seen worse production from a player than Drew. This just makes me want Bogaerts to play shortstop more. He put up decent numbers for a rookie in the fall classic and came up big when we needed him too.

 

Xander did an excellent job stepping in for the struggling Middlebrooks during the postseason though. Middlebrooks had a breakout year in 2012 and started off hot in 2013 but was sidelined by injuries, which prolonged his return and left him playing catch up and trying to keep up with his numbers in 2012.

However despite that he still posted seventeen homers (two more than 2012) and 49 RBIs  (five fewer than 2012). Middlebrooks still can be a consistent third basemen but needs to stay healthy in order for that to happen. Xander’s stint at third opened the eyes of many to just how well he can play.

 

Xander’s future has the potential to be great in Boston. However, to achieve this greatness he must have a breakout year in 2014. The Red Sox have not had a solid shortstop since the Nomar years and I believe Xander has what it takes to be that everyday leader on and off the diamond much like Nomar.

Playing around seasoned veterans everyday like Ortiz, Napoli, and Victorino, Xander will pick up little things that each guy does day in and day out and use them to lead when prospects like him come up in the later years. If there is one reason to watch the Red Sox this year it is to watch this young star play