TURNS 25: OCTOBER 1, 2017
FINAL RATING: 8.4
The most efficient way to describe Xander Bogaerts would be "when it rains, it pours".
The way things started in 2016, it seemed like Bogaerts was set as the centerpiece of the Red Sox lineup for years to come. Especially with opposing catchers going out of their way to tell David Ortiz that Bogaerts was the best hitter in the game.
Bogaerts can still be that great hitter. He has the ability to break down any at-bat pitch-by-pitch with greater detail than some grizzled veterans.
His biggest problem is his streaky nature and inability to make quick adjustments.
The talent is there, though. Despite his ups and downs, he hit .294 in 2016 after hitting .320 in 2015. He also left the yard 21 times in 2016 after only doing so 20 times through his previous 318 games in Boston.
He hits for contact and he hits for power. There just has to be a smaller range between Bogaerts’ peaks and valleys.
In the field, however, he has more room to grow. Bogaerts’ range is good enough -- especially given he’s one of the best hitters at a defensive-oriented position -- but his struggles throwing the ball to first are concerning.
The tools are there, but even if he doesn’t completely bring everything together, Bogaerts will continue to be an All-Star-level shortstop.