Once again, Xander Bogaerts has been criminally underrated. For the second straight year he’s tearing it up. He’s currently in the midst of a career year and shows no signs of slowing down. So how the hell is he not the starter in the all-star game for the American League at shortstop? How is he not even in the top three?!
Obviously, fan voting will never be perfect. However, when a player has been as good as Xander has, there’s no reason to leave him off of your ballot.
Numbers Never Lie
He’s first in doubles, walks, OBP and RBIs amongst all shortstops in baseball. He also ranks within the top five in OPS, runs, hits, home runs, batting average and slugging percentage. Oh yeah, and of any player in baseball, only Mike Trout, Cody Bellinger, Max Scherzer, Christian Yelich and Ketel Marte have accumulated more fWAR.
Every possible category, Bogaerts is in the lead or right behind the leader. With Xander’s improved defense and more disciplined plate approach, he is ranked fWAR wise as the best shortstop in the league.
So how is he not getting all-star love? Somehow Carlos Correa was deemed more worthy than Xander. Red Sox rival Gleyber Torres is probably deserving to be in the final three, but not ahead of Xander. The only player who plausibly should/could have more votes is Jorge Polanco. Like Bogaerts, he is in the middle of a career year, and does slightly have the edge on Xander in a couple categories.
Regardless, a .923 OPS is top 20 in all of baseball, and the fact that it’s not enough to get Bogaerts on the final ballot is absurd.
It’s Just an All-Star Game…
At the end of the day Xander Bogaerts is a two-time World Series champion who’s fresh off a huge payday. So really, he won’t lose much sleep over this snub. It’s the All-Star game, it really doesn’t hold much value or merit anymore. Nonetheless, it clearly irked Bogaerts (reasonably so) and reignited a debate regarding fan voting.
Above you can see Xander talk about the frustration of the selection process and how it’s affected him. At the end of the day, he’ll realize that it really isn’t a huge deal to be voted in. As a matter of fact, there’s still a good chance he makes the team as a reserve/replacement.
But still, it sucks for Xander, who is one of the best players on this team, and right now, the best shortstop in baseball. He was robbed of an all-star spot, and these are just the facts.
Bogaerts is notoriously better in the first half of the season. The rest during the all-star break that he’ll get since he was snubbed will light a fire in his stomach. This whole situation can motivate him to put together an impressive, full season like the one he has so far.