Xander Jan Bogaerts, OON (Dutch pronunciation: [ˈsandər ˈboxarts]; born October 1, 1992) nicknamed The X-Man and Bogey or Bogie, is an Aruban-born Dutch professional baseball shortstop for the Boston Red Sox of Major League Baseball (MLB) and the Netherlands national baseball team.
Bogaerts in 2018
|Boston Red Sox – No. 2|
|Born: October 1, 1992|
|August 20, 2013, for the Boston Red Sox|
|MLB statistics |
(through 2019 season)
|Runs batted in||503|
|Career highlights and awards|
After being signed as an amateur free agent by the Red Sox in 2009, Bogaerts made his MLB debut in 2013, appearing in 30 games between the regular season and postseason, and helping the Red Sox to the World Series championship. He became the Red Sox' starting shortstop in 2014, and was awarded the American League's Silver Slugger Award at the position in back to back years, 2015 and 2016.
Mike Lord, a scout for the Boston Red Sox, discovered Bogaerts at the age of 16, in 2009. After not playing baseball for two weeks due to the chicken pox, Bogaerts played for Lord, who recommended him to Craig Shipley, the Red Sox' vice president of international scouting. Shipley flew to Aruba to watch Bogaerts play. The Red Sox signed him to a contract with a $410,000 signing bonus.
Bogaerts made his professional debut in 2010 in the Dominican Summer League (DSL), where he had a .314 batting average, .396 on-base percentage, and .423 slugging percentage. He led the DSL Red Sox in each of those categories, along with hits (75), home runs (3), RBIs (42), and total bases (101). He was fifth in the DSL in RBIs and tenth in total bases, and he had a .929 fielding percentage. The next year, at age 18, Bogaerts played for the Greenville Drive of the Class A South Atlantic League, where he had a slash line of .260/.324/.509, fielded .924, and hit 16 home runs in 72 games.
During the 2012 season, Bogaerts started out in Class A and ended up playing with the Portland Sea Dogs of the Class AA Eastern League. He was named to appear in the 2012 All-Star Futures Game. Heading into the 2013 season, Bogaerts ranked sixth in the MLB.com Top 100 Prospects list, eighth in the Baseball America Top 100 Prospects list, and was ranked the fifth-best prospect by ESPN's Keith Law, who described him as "Still just 20 years old, Bogaerts has been playing solid shortstop for Portland with a solid walk rate but isn't yet generating the power expected from his explosive swing."
Boston Red SoxEdit
Bogaerts started the season with Portland and was promoted to the Pawtucket Red Sox of the Triple-A International League in mid-June. The Red Sox promoted Bogaerts to the major leagues on August 19. Bogaerts made his MLB debut on August 20 against the San Francisco Giants. He got his first major league hit five days later against the Los Angeles Dodgers. On September 7, Bogaerts hit his first MLB home run against New York Yankees pitcher Jim Miller. At the end of the 2013 Minor League season, Bogaerts gained USA Today Minor League Player of the Year honors and was named to the 2013 Baseball America Minor League All-Star Team. During his brief stint in the majors in 2013, Bogaerts appeared in 18 games batting .250 with a home run, five RBIs, and a stolen base.
Despite debuting late in the season, Bogaerts was part of the 25-man active roster during the postseason run. Bogaerts had a strong performance in the postseason as he batted .296 with two RBIs in 12 postseason games, eventually leading to the Red Sox winning their eighth World Series in franchise history. Bogaerts also became the youngest player to hit a triple in World Series history.
Bogaerts began the 2014 season as the starting shortstop for Boston. On May 29, Bogaerts had his first walk-off plate appearance on a throwing error by Atlanta Braves third baseman Chris Johnson, allowing Red Sox outfielder Jackie Bradley Jr. to score. On June 2, the Red Sox re-signed Stephen Drew and Bogaerts was moved back to third base. Bogaerts returned to shortstop once again when the Red Sox sent Drew to the rival New York Yankees at the trading deadline on July 31. For the season, Bogaerts played 99 games at shortstop and 44 games at third base, while batting .240 with 12 home runs and 46 RBIs.
In 2015, Bogaerts led the Red Sox with a career-high .320 average (along with seven home runs and 81 RBIs), finishing second only to Miguel Cabrera for the American League batting title. From late July, Bogaerts began to bat second or third exclusively. He had 10 hits with the bases loaded, the most in MLB for 2015. He received the American League's Silver Slugger Award for shortstop. On top of his breakout offense, Bogaerts was also a finalist for the Rawlings Gold Glove Award at shortstop.
In 2016, Bogaerts again began the season as the Red Sox' starting shortstop, primarily batting third. Between May 6 and June 2, Bogaerts hit safely in 26 consecutive games. His hitting streak came to an end in a loss to the Toronto Blue Jays on June 3. He was chosen to play in the 2016 MLB All-Star Game, the first of his career; he started at shortstop and was 1-for-2 at the plate. Bogaerts finished the season batting .294 with 21 home runs and 89 RBIs, and was once again given the American League's shortstop Silver Slugger Award.
Bogaerts became eligible for salary arbitration in 2017. He and the Red Sox avoided an arbitration hearing by agreeing to a $4.5 million salary for the 2017 season. In 2017, Bogaerts usually hit in the sixth spot in the batting order. On July 6, he was hit on the right wrist by a pitch from Jacob Faria of the Tampa Bay Rays. It was later diagnosed as a sprained joint. Despite this, Bogaerts declined being placed on the disabled list, and played while injured for the rest of the season. He later admitted this was a mistake, stating that he went through a two-month stretch in which he could not swing comfortably. As a result, he finished the season batting .273 with just 10 home runs and 62 RBIs.
Bogaerts and the Red Sox agreed to a $7.05 million salary for the 2018 season. He began the 2018 season usually batting fifth in the lineup. He hit two grand slams in April; one on April 7 against the Tampa Bay Rays, and one on April 30 against the Kansas City Royals. Bogaerts was named AL Player of the Week for the week of July 2–8. He hit another grand slam on July 14, this one an extra-innings walk-off home run against the Toronto Blue Jays. For the regular season, Bogaerts had 23 home runs, 103 RBIs, and a .288 average. The Red Sox finished the year 108–54 and won the World Series over the Los Angeles Dodgers. Bogaerts was the only player to be on the Red Sox roster for both the 2013 and 2018 World Series.
The Red Sox and Bogaerts came to terms on a $12 million salary for the 2019 season in January. On April 1, 2019, the Red Sox announced that they signed Bogaerts to a six-year contract extension worth $132 million. On July 3, MLB announced that Bogaerts had been selected for the 2019 All-Star Game. On September 7, Bogaerts registered his 1,000th MLB career hit, in a game against the New York Yankees.
Bogaerts finished the 2019 season with a .309 average, with 33 home runs and 117 RBIs. On defense in 2019, he had a -21 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS) rating, the lowest in the major leagues among shortstops.
Xander has a twin brother, Jair. Jair also signed with the Red Sox as an international free agent. He was sent to the Chicago Cubs prior to the 2012 season to complete the compensation regarding Theo Epstein.
Xander Bogaerts is the fifth Aruban to play in MLB, following Sidney Ponson, Calvin Maduro, Gene Kingsale, and Radhames Dykhoff. In 2011, after winning the gold medal in the Baseball World Cup, Bogaerts was inducted into the Knights Order of Orange-Nassau by the Governor of Aruba. Bogaerts speaks four languages: English, Spanish, Dutch, and Papiamento, the latter two being Aruba's official languages.
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