Is Xander Bogaerts the Next Big Thing?
Only 21 years old, Xander Bogaerts may have the coolest name in all of professional sports. He might also be the next big thing in Major League Baseball. The Dutch Aruban exceeded everyone's expectations with an astounding performance in this year's World Series, finishing with a. 727 on base average. The future looks bright for this young player who seemingly came out of nowhere, but Xander Bogaerts didn't just materialize overnight.
Born just over two decades ago, Bogaerts is only the fifth player from Aruba to reach the Major Leagues. Signed by the Red Sox in 2009, he debuted in the Dominican Summer League in 2010, leading the Red Sox in batting average, home runs, hits, rbis and total bases. In 2011 Xander Bogaerts joined the Dutch National Team leading them to the gold medal at the 2011 Baseball World Cup. Between 2011 and 2012 Bogaerts played on several teams including triple A and international and finally started to show up on analysts radars, being included in several "top-prospect" lists.
In the 2013 World Series, Xander Bogaert may have been the best hitter on the entire Red Sox lineup. Going 3 for 6 with five walks and a stellar.727 on base percentage, Bogaerts scored seven runs in six games. Batting seventh in the Championship series, analysts agree that he should be starting much higher up come next season and fantasy drafters are salivating at the thought of scooping up such a valuable player. But there is no guarantee Xander makes the opening line up come spring.
While some critics argue that Bogaerts youth and inexperience may count against him, Sox manager John Farrell commented that Xander displayed "that same poise and maturity he showed throughout the minor leagues" during the World Series. Whatever happens with Xander Bogaerts at the beginning of next season one thing is for sure, he'll be batting in the starting line up before too long.