Xander Bogaerts has bashed his way into the ranks of the elite.

ESPN’s Buster Olney ranked the Boston Red Sox shortstop No. 5 among players at his position Thursday. Olney credits Bogaerts’ plate discipline for his progression into one of Major League Baseball’s most productive batters.

“Bogaerts finished last in some of the defensive metrics among MLB shortstops last year, but he has blossomed into one of the league’s best offensive players,” Olney wrote. “Last year, he reached base more than 250 times — 190 hits and 76 walks, plus two hit by pitches — and bashed 52 doubles and 33 homers. He seems to have absorbed the same lesson as (Houston Astros second baseman Jose) Altuve, as his walks have almost doubled in the past four years, and he is doing major damage.”

Bogaerts hit .309 with a career-high 33 home runs, 117 RBIs and a .939 OPS in 155 games last season, earning himself a fifth-place finish in AL MVP voting and a spot in the 2019 All-MLB First Team.

It’s hard to believe in 2014 Bogaerts had just 46 RBIs in his first full Major League Baseball season. The development of his craft has made him into one of Boston’s key players and one of baseball’s leading shortstops in less than five years’ time.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images