The American League Championship Series between the Boston Red Sox and Houston Astros will feature two of the best shortstops in baseball.
That’s the praise Xander Bogaerts gave himself and Houston’s Carlos Correa prior to Game 1 on Friday.
“Definitely we’re in the conversation,” Bogaerts said, answering a question about he and Correa being the best in the AL at the position, via ASAP Sports. “I feel like we’ve done it for a while now. We’ve been really consistent. I mean, I know he has been dealing with some injuries throughout the years, but this year he has played a lot of games, and he has been really, really productive for that team over there. I mean, I’m definitely a fan of him, but obviously right now, we’re just trying to go out there and beat those guys. But he has had a great season.”
Bogaerts, 29, has won two World Series titles, been named to three All-Star games with three Silver Slugger awards and one All-MLB First Team destination. Correa, 27, is trending in the same direction with a World Series ring, two All-Star appearances and having won the 2015 AL Rookie of the Year award.
“He has done it in the playoffs. He’s had huge moments,” Bogaerts said. “He has a World Series ring. I mean, they’ve been to the World Series a couple of times. That’s a good team over there, man, and I feel like I’m pretty much the same. We’re big shortstops. We both came up young. A lot of hype around us. I wasn’t drafted first overall, but at one point we both were top prospects in the organization. I think we both did a good job just maintaining the same and helping our teams win as much as possible and leading them to victories.”
The compliments didn’t only come from Bogaerts.
Red Sox manager Alex Cora also has a special relationship with Correa, having worked with him in Houston as his bench coach — both being from Puerto Rico.
But when the first pitch of Game 1 is thrown out, don’t expect these guys to act all buddy-buddy. The Red Sox and Astros get going at 8:07 p.m. ET.