I asked my wife to help me think of a title using the name Xander Bogaerts and she said his name sounds like a character that Joey would play on Friends and I agree, that’s pretty apt. Xander is one of my favorite Bogaerts, even if he spells it a bit differently than the others. First there’s badass Humphrey; Casablanca owns, still holds up today, still is eminently quotable, and if you disagree you haven’t watched it (so go do so, right after you finish reading this post).
There’s also the song “Don’t Bogart that Joint” by the poorly named Fraternity of Man; I highly (get it?) recommend listening for it’s hilarity; if you can listen to thirty seconds without laughing you need your funny bone checked. Right now Xander is my fav. Though in all honestly I want to look at Xander because I have him in a keeper OPS league (and a few others) and was looking to possibly trade him as I have too many SS and figured this is my column so let’s look at him.
Xander has been written about a lot going back to his time as a top prospect for the Red Sox but he’s been relatively quiet this season; probably its the boring five homer and eight steals he’s accumulated thus far in 2017 which aren’t helping those that drafted him in the early rounds. At first I wonder if he wasn’t on Boston and he didn’t have an interesting name would be less hyped? Because it’s not like he’s a defensive wizard at SS; he’s not bad, just no Lindor.
Bogaerts has been in the majors since 2013 (where he came up for an 18 game cup o’ coffee) and has been in the bigs ever since. The shocker of it; he’s only 24, now in his fourth full big league season. He had home run totals of 16, 20, 20 in the minors, and 12, 7, 21 in the majors. So the power is there with room to grow and there’s even an apparent reason his power has been down. A thumb injury in late April has, he admitted, sapped him of his power thus far, but that may be changing as he hit one homer Wednesday and two on Father’s Day. He also mentions that he is having problems finishing his swing and he hasn’t had a day off since returning from injury, so there are a couple (possibly major) issues.
Going for Bogaerts is his K% at 16% and BB% at 7% are both in line with his career numbers thus far and his Slugging% and OPS are the highest since he’s been in the majors at .463 and .834 (as of this writing). His eight steals already make it seem he could get to 20; though he didn’t steal much in the minors he has had 2, 10, 13, in his big league seasons. Even better Bogaerts is solidly entrenched hitting third in a good lineup gives him bonuses for Runs and RBIs.
The number nine overall SS in Yahoo! OPS Leagues while he hasn’t seemed as sexy as the other shortstops there’s definite upside (again, dude is only 24) and if another owner is bored with him he’s worth acquiring. After this exercise I’m going to hold him and see what happens.
Next!: Let’s get that Matt Davidson ownership number up, shall we guys? He’s been crushing it (six homers in his past nine games) yet he’s still only owned in 15% of ESPN and 18% Yahoo! leagues. We all could use some more power in our lives, especially at third, right? He’s playing everyday, hitting in the six hole the last week at third and DH. Go get him if you need him.
Weekly Josh Bell & Ryon Healy update: Healy has been on a tear the last week with three homers and an OPS of .968; he’s up to 78% ownership in Yahoo! and 63% in ESPN. This week the A’s are traveling to Chicago to play the White Sox at whatever they’ve decided to name their crappy stadium (oh, it’s Guaranteed Rate Field? That’s just great. Really great. Hope you can read the sarcasm) and then on to Houston. Josh Bell is back on my good side and into my starting lineups with two homers and a .982 OPS the past week. His ownership is only 29% in Yahoo! and 13% in ESPN; Bell is looked into the five-hole at first base and his Pirates travel to St Louis then back home to face the Rays.
Lastly: Went to a day game this past weekend at Angels Stadium. Since my previous trips have been night games I’ve never really paid much attention to the entrance. It features two gigantic baseball helmets on either side and huge bats adorn the entrance; look at the picture, it’s hard to describe. It’s a little gaudy but it’s no waterfall or whatever that thing is in the outfield in Miami.
Angels Stadium definitely had the better hot dog of the LA teams (if you were reading a couple weeks ago I went to a Dodger game and was extremely disappointed in the Dodger dog). The outfield experience was better at Dodger Stadium though that isn’t saying much, it felt like a back lot at a concert venue while the Angels outfield section felt very Soviet (concrete) bloc. Overall for me the baseball experience was pretty similar; anyone like one that much better than the other? If you do or you don’t make sure you enjoy the weekend, Razzballers and Razzballettes!