Xander Bogaerts wears No. 2 because of his idol Derek Jeter, but that might not be the only thing the Boston Red Sox shortstop ends up having in common with the former New York Yankee.
Bogaerts has been making a case to be considered Major League’s Baseball’s best shortstop this season, and he only made it stronger with his performance in the Red Sox’s 8-1 win over the Minnesota Twins on Friday. The 23-year-old went 4-for-5 with a three-run homer, a run and four RBIs.
But it wasn’t just Friday night; Bogaerts has been turning heads the whole season. He leads all shortstops in average (.349), OPS (.906), runs (47), hits (88) and doubles (19), and his 40 RBIs are second behind the Colorado Rockies’ Trevor Story. Bogaerts also has made just two errors, and his .990 fielding percentage trails only Jose Iglesias.
The only tool Bogaerts lacks for now is power, and that’s coming. His home run Friday was his seventh of the season, which already matches his 2015 total. But either way, Bogaerts is fine with being a four-tool player.
“I’m not thinking of hitting home runs,” Bogaerts said after Friday’s game, per The Boston Globe’s Pete Abraham. “Every time I think of a home run, I get an out. So why waste an at-bat like that? I like hits. I enjoy getting hits.”
Either way, Bogaerts looks to be on his way to stardom.
Here are some more notes from Friday’s game.
— Steven Wright had the opportunity to pitch his fourth consecutive complete game on the road Friday, but he did get his fourth straight win in his outing, which lasted 7 1/3 innings. The knuckleballer also came out of the game with no earned runs, lowering his ERA to an American League-best 2.09.
— Dustin Pedroia extended his hitting streak to 16 games right away after hitting a double in the first inning. But Pedroia, um, doesn’t care much about it.
“I don’t give a s—,” Pedroia said of his streak, per the Boston Herald’s Jason Mastrodonato.
Pedroia did add that his lack of excitement comes more from the fact that he’s just trying to be a team player.
“I’m just playing the game,” Pedroia said, per Mastrodonato. “That’s my job, to go out there and play and help us win games.”
— The Baltimore Orioles lost 4-3 in extra innings to the Toronto Blue Jays on Friday, which means the Red Sox are closing in on first place at one game behind.
— Roenis Elias has been tearing it up in Pawtucket, tossing seven scoreless innings Friday. The left-hander pitched a complete game Sunday and has allowed just one run with 15 strikeouts and two walks in his last 16 innings in Triple-A.
?He?s doing everything right at this point,? PawSox manager Kevin Boles said. ?He?s been more consistent with his delivery, his work habits, attacking the zone and maintaining his stuff from the stretch.?
Thumbnail photo via Jesse Johnson/USA TODAY Sports Images