This is Xander Bogaerts’ ninth season with the Boston Red Sox, and he only continues to improve.
The shortstop had himself another impressive outing in Saturday’s win over the Chicago White Sox at Fenway Park. He went 4-for-5 at the plate and drove in two insurance runs during Boston’s eighth-inning rally, though he did commit an error in the third.
His physical skills are not the only ones to be admired, though. His leadership skills deserve praise, too.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora certainly supports this idea. He has enjoyed watching Bogaerts blossom as a leader throughout his career, but especially in recent years.
“He’s one of the leaders of the team,” Cora said during his postgame video press conference. “He’s been here for a while. He’s got two Worlds Series championships and he’s one of the best shortstops in the big leagues. But at the same time, he wants to win. I remember last year (in) his press conferences after games, how tough he was (on the team). It wasn’t fun.”
No matter how difficult times have gotten, though, Bogaerts’ leadership has remained. That has been on display through the early part of this season as Boston recovered from being swept by the Baltimore Orioles in their first series of the season.
Some things never change. And in this case, it could not be much better for the Red Sox.