Xander Bogaerts’ 2019 campaign was just phenomenal. Bogaerts provides decent defense, while adding a great bat to the Red Sox lineup. He led in the majority of offensive categories for a SS in 2019.
While most people in 2020 will say he’s not the best at his position, I have two main counters to that stance. First, people don’t seem to understand that you can’t base stats off of 60 games. 60 games is about a third of a regular season, and some guys just might be very hot during a 60 game stretch. Yelich would be able to turn it around if it was 162 games, and maybe even some teams who are really struggling right now would be able to pick it up. Not only that, but teams like the Giants, who were just really hot really throughout the season, would not be able to keep it up for 162 games.
The second counter is the fact that the players that people say are the best SS aren’t even putting up the best numbers of 2020. Other than Fernando Tatis Jr., the shortstop position in 2020 is not performing well. To continue with Tatis, it is too premature to declare him the best shortstop in the league because he has still not played a full season. Let’s wait to declare him the best till he plays a full season. Just have him play 130 – 162 games and then we’ll see if he puts up the same numbers and WAR. Then, I’ll admit Tatis is legit if he has better numbers through a full season than Bogaerts. Bogaerts put up absurd numbers last year, and he played 155 games. Tatis did put up better numbers, but played less than 100 games due to injury. Tatis, right now, is the best SS in the stats department, but it is still not a large enough sample size. Also, there is no way Tatis deserves to win MVP. Freddie Freeman has better numbers than him.
Now, lets look at Bogaerts’ 2019 and 2020 numbers.
2019 Slashline – .309/.384/.555 – That is a crazy slash line and we haven’t even gotten into the legit numbers yet.
2019 fWAR – 6.8 (Best out of all SS) fWAR basically determines the value of a player through fielding and hitting combined, and Bogaerts has the best by far, with the next closest being Trevor Story at 6.1.
2019 wRC+ – 141 (Best out of all SS)
2019 wOBA – .390 (Best out of all SS)
2019 HR – 33 (2nd out of all SS)
2019 RBI’s – 117 (Best out of all SS)
I normally wouldn’t include RBI’s, because it’s pretty useless, but you have to include it when it’s the best out of SS by a mile.
Now we’ll take a look at his 2020 stats, which were still very good:
2020 Slashline – .300/.362/.502 Not as good, but very solid. Would be better at the end of the season if it weren’t for the season being 60 games.
2020 fWAR – 1.9 Very solid through 56 games. Not the best, but that’s very good. On pace for about a 5 fWAR if it was 162 games.
2020 wRC+ – 13o Still not as good as last year, but very good
2020 wOBA – .368 Very good
2020 HR – 11 Led AL SS
Why it’s not these players:
Francisco Lindor: Better defense then Bogaerts, but not nearly enough offensive statistics, although he is more consistent.
Javier Baez: Way better defense then Bogaerts, but strikes out too much and has just above average offensive statistics and is not consistent at all.
Trevor Story: Honestly, I’d respect the opinion of Trevor Story being the top SS in the league. Plays good defense, and has good numbers. He does play at Coors Field though. Some think the Coors Field adjustments to + stats like wRC+ is too harsh, which maybe it is a little bit, but not as much as some think. His numbers are just not as good as Bogaerts’ numbers.
Marcus Semien: Semien had a solid 2019, but not as good as Story or Bogaerts. He also does not provide enough years of at least near his 2019 caliber of play.
Fernando Tatis Jr.: Not enough games played yet.
Xander Bogaerts’ 2019 campaign was just phenomenal. Bogaerts provides decent defense, while adding a great bat to the Red Sox lineup. He led in the majority of offensive categories for a SS in 2019.While most people in 2020 will say he’s not the best at his position, I haveLast modified: October 20, 2020