But as much as we may have heard about about Xander Bogaerts, he looks like the real deal, not only for the future, but for right now.
Here is a kid who just turned 21 years old, who exhibits a maturity well beyond his years.
And how does the maturity manifest itself?
He is very impressiveBarry Svrluga in the Washington Post quoted Bogaerts manager, Professor John Farrell: “It’s been really fun to see, actually,” Farrell said. “The smile on his face never goes away. There’s never the look on his face, there’s no deer in the headlights, any kind of those descriptions you might come up with. He’s a very mature and poised young man.”
Jason Mastrodonato on MLB.com quotes the Sox master chemist, GM Ben Cherington: "You can't predict a 21-year-old doing this."
"It's hard to put into words what poise he's shown in these games, these at-bats," Cherington said. "It's one thing to go up there, get a mistake and hit a ball hard. But he's had quality at-bats. He's seeing pitches, taking tough pitches -- it's pretty remarkable what he's doing."
Showing patienceI want to try and show you patience at the plate.
This first chart lists all the players on the two World Series teams who have had a least 10 plate appearances this postseason.
|1. Xander Bogaerts (BOS)||6||11||6||59||5.36||5||1||3||7||.500||.727||1.000|
|2. Jacoby Ellsbury (BOS)||10||45||40||158||3.51||5||8||16||10||.400||.467||.525|
|3. David Ross (BOS)||4||11||9||45||4.09||1||3||3||1||.333||.400||.556|
|4. Daniel Nava (BOS)||4||14||11||72||5.14||3||5||3||0||.273||.429||.273|
|5. Matt Adams (STL)||11||45||41||187||4.16||3||12||11||5||.268||.333||.390|
|6. Yadier Molina (STL)||11||45||39||187||4.16||6||7||10||4||.256||.356||.359|
|7. Dustin Pedroia (BOS)||10||45||39||163||3.62||4||9||10||3||.256||.311||.308|
|8. Carlos Beltran (STL)||11||47||39||195||4.15||8||4||10||5||.256||.383||.538|
|9. Matt Holliday (STL)||11||46||45||166||3.61||1||6||11||6||.244||.261||.444|
|10. Mike Napoli (BOS)||10||38||33||173||4.55||5||15||8||5||.242||.342||.515|
|11. Shane Victorino (BOS)||10||45||38||164||3.62||0||12||9||4||.237||.341||.342|
|12. Jarrod Saltalamacchia (BOS)||8||27||26||116||4.30||1||15||6||1||.231||.259||.269|
|13. Jon Jay (STL)||11||40||34||176||4.40||4||7||7||5||.206||.282||.206|
|14. Pete Kozma (STL)||10||30||25||107||3.57||4||6||5||2||.200||.333||.240|
|15. Jonny Gomes (BOS)||9||27||25||111||4.11||2||8||5||6||.200||.259||.280|
|16. David Ortiz (BOS)||10||43||35||176||4.09||8||6||7||5||.200||.349||.486|
|17. David Freese (STL)||11||40||37||163||4.07||3||9||7||3||.189||.250||.297|
|18. Daniel Descalso (STL)||10||16||16||58||3.63||0||3||3||2||.188||.188||.188|
|19. Will Middlebrooks (BOS)||9||26||23||97||3.73||3||9||4||2||.174||.269||.261|
|20. Matt Carpenter (STL)||11||48||42||187||3.90||4||11||7||5||.167||.250||.262|
|21. Stephen Drew (BOS)||10||36||35||144||4.00||1||12||3||1||.086||.111||.143|
Looking at the numbers and two stand out most prominently:
- P/PA - No one this postseason has seen more pitches per plate appearance than Bogaerts. And while you may question an umpire's call here or there, Bogaerts makes pitchers work and has drawn five walks in just 11 PA.
- Runs - Only Boston's leadoff batter, Jacoby Ellsbury, who has had 34 more plate appearances than Bogaerts, has scored more runs than Xander. Not only does Bogaerts work counts, works pitchers, but he gets on base and scores. His at bats affect what happens next for Boston.
The Xander PAs
- Take a look at Bogaerts' plate appearances and you can see in all 11 times at the plate, he took the first pitch.
- He chased only two pitches out of the strike zone.
- Amazingly, in 11 plate appearances Bogaerts went to 3-2 seven times.
|2. 0-0 count||0||11||-||11||6||5||0||0||6||0||0|
|12. LCS Game 1||1||7||7.00||4||4||3||3||1||1||1||1|
|13. LCS Game 4||1||2||2.00||1||2||0||1||0||1||0||0|
|14. LCS Game 5||4||19||4.75||13||10||9||6||3||4||1||1|
|15. LCS Game 6||3||19||6.33||16||8||11||3||1||5||1||0|
On to the World SeriesBogaert's only had 50 regular season plate appearances but I would be surprised if we don't see him starting each game for the Sox this Series. I would also right now write his name in for Opening Day 2014...in ink.
This hype has not been overstated.