The Boston Red Sox have three All-Stars taking their talents to Miami, but it could be four if Red Sox fans can get out the vote.
Chris Sale, Craig Kimbrel and Mookie Betts all were named to the American League All-Star team Sunday. Their trio could become a quartet if shortstop Xander Bogaerts gets enough fan support and is able to win the Final Vote contest.
Bogaerts is one of five finalists for that last American League All-Star spot, as he’ll battle Elvis Andrus, Didi Gregorious, Logan Morrison and Mike Moustakas for a chance to head to South Beach.
Houston Astros shortstop Carlos Correa was the obvious choice for All-Star starter at the position, and Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor got in as a reserve. But you could make the argument Bogaerts’ season is, if not at the same level of those two, at least worthy of an All-Star Game appearance.
While Bogaerts isn’t hitting for much power this season (five home runs), he’s finding other ways to contribute at the plate and in the field. His 39 RBIs rank third among AL shortstops, and his .314 batting average is second, just behind Correa. And only Correa is getting on base at a higher clip than Bogaerts.
But dig a little deeper and you’ll find how valuable Bogaerts has been to the Red Sox this season.
In 30 at-bats characterized as “high leverage” by Fangraphs, Bogaerts is hitting .433 (13-for-30), which is second among AL shortstops and fifth among all qualified American League batters. And if you need a clutch hit in an important spot late in an inning, Bogaerts has delivered time and time again. He’s hitting .375 with two outs and runners in scoring position, while also hitting .379 with 10 extra-base hits when the game is tied.
And if that’s not enough, the defense has been pretty good, too.
So, there you have it: the case for voting Xander Bogaerts to the 2017 All-Star Game. Now get out there and do the right thing.
**You can also go to RedSox.com/Vote or text A2 to 89269 to vote.**
Thumbnail photo via Winslow Townson/USA TODAY Sports Images