Boston Red Sox pitcher Nathan Eovaldi has high praise for teammate Xander Bogaerts.
The shortstop was a huge contributor to the team long before the 2021 season, even despite the slump that plagued him before the playoffs. That continued Friday night in Game 2 of the American League Division Series, where he batted 3-for-5 with two runs and two RBIs and a homer against the Tampa Bay Rays.
“He’s a great teammate. He’s our top leader in the clubhouse,” Eovaldi told reporters of Bogaerts on Saturday during his media availability. “He communicates with everybody. He came up in ’13. He’s got two World Series championships. He’s got experience. He’s one of the guys who he’s always healthy, always on the field. I think it says a lot about a player if they’re able to stay healthy and stay consistent the entire time he’s been up in the big leagues.”
Leading up to the must-win Wild Card against the Yankees on Tuesday night, Bogaerts was working walks, but not finding success off his bat. But he acknowledged that he wouldn’t be down for long because he cares about contributing to the team.
While staying healthy through most of the season, Bogaerts has batted .295 with 23 home runs and 79 RBI.
“Obviously he’s one of our biggest leaders,” Eovaldi said. “He’s a great teammate to have. You always pull for him, and he’s always pulling for you. It’s great.”
Even though Bogaerts initially wasn’t able to find his groove in the postseason, he’s imperative to the success of the Red Sox this season and his teammates haven’t lost sight of that.