Xander Bogaerts is one of the best shortstops in Major League Baseball, and also one of the most consistent.
“I definitely will take it. Because for you to be able to play 1,000 games in an organization you have to be productive and be a guy that pretty much that you can rely on,” Bogaerts said after his milestone game. “I’m happy about the player that I have become, I definitely envisioned myself being like this.”
Bogaerts padded his stats Wednesday, remaining MLB’s leader in hits (42) after going 2-for-3 with one run and a go-ahead RBI in the bottom of the fourth.
But even before the game, he led shortstops across the league with a .351 batting average, .385 on base percentage, .604 slugging and .988 OPS with 16 extra-base hits and 10 doubles.
All from very humble beginnings.
“From a little kid, you know, just trying to get to get to the big leagues from Aruba,” Bogaerts said of his milestone, “I’m extremely proud of myself and I’m thankful for everyone that helped me.”
Bogarts made his Red Sox debut in 2013 and won a World Series right off the bat. In the nine Major League seasons since he’s tacked on another championship, made two All-Star teams and earned three Silver Slugger Awards.
But not without a lot of ups and downs along the way.
“I started off pretty good, winning a World Series my first year,” Bogaerts said. “That was nice. But I know my next year after that I kind of went through a rough stretch … I remember getting booed in 2014 and I was so young, I was like, ‘What the hell are these people booing me for man? I’m just 21′”
Bogaerts isn’t likely to get booed in Boston again any time soon because he’s figured out how to win over its fans.
With hard work, production and consistency.
Wednesday made him the 30th player to reach the 1,000-game milestone for the Red Sox, and only the 10th in club history to do it before their 29th birthday.
“I do believe he’s the most consistent person in this organization,” manager Alex Cora told reporters in his pregame availability before Bogaerts took the field for the special game.
“He learned right away what it’s all about to play in this in this in this market, in this city, in this stadium, for this franchise, and he doesn’t take it for granted. … I’m happy that my shortstop is Xander Bogarts and hopefully he can play here for a long, long time.”