Alex Cora is a big fan of Xander Bogaerts.
Can you blame him? The Boston Red Sox shortstop has been reliable for his team this season with 10 home runs, 36 RBIs and a .281 batting average. He blasted the game-winning home run in Thursday night’s victory over the Seattle Mariners and assisted in the game-ending double play.
But Cora enjoyed Bogaerts’ play well before he became the manager of the Red Sox.
“I was a big fan watching from afar,” Cora told The Boston Globe’s Peter Abraham.
He was such a big fan, in fact, that he once compared Bogaerts to Baltimore Orioles third baseman Manny Machado while working for ESPN, and told Abraham he got “crushed” on Twitter.
But now, it doesn’t seem like such a far-fetched comparison with Bogaerts being the owner of the fourth-best OPS (.845) among American League shortstops.
But as good as the 25-year-old has been, Cora believes he can be even better.
“There’s more in there,” Cora told Abraham. “Right now he has 10 home runs, he’s hitting (.281), he’s playing good defense. But I do feel at 25 there’s more there. It’ll be fun to watch.
“There’s a process. He’s accepting the process, we’ll see how it ends up. I’m happy that I’m managing him and helping him out. He’s a good player.”
Cora clearly knows what he’s talking about, as Bogaerts blasted his 11th home run of the season during the third inning of Friday’s game against the Mariners.
Thumbnail photo via Kim Klement/USA TODAY Sports Images
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