When the All-Star rosters were originally announced last weekend and the Red Sox had only two representatives in Mookie Betts and J.D. Martinez, people were understandably confused. It wasn’t that the Red Sox have played so well that one would imagine they’d get more representation, but the players many assumed would be on the team were not. Among the snubs, Xander Bogaerts was clearly the biggest among Red Sox players. In fact, he was arguably the biggest snub from any team. Well, that wrong has been righted as the American League made three changes to their roster on Wednesday, and Bogaerts was among the additions.
Cleveland bound!— MLB (@MLB) July 3, 2019
Brandon Lowe, José Berríos and Xander Bogaerts have been named to the AL All-Star team to replace Tommy La Stella, Jake Odorizzi and Hunter Pence. pic.twitter.com/auje8n9MTt
You could make the argument that he is replacing Tommy La Stella or Hunter Pence here, but that part doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the best player on this year’s Red Sox team and one of the best players in the American League is getting the recognition he deserves. This will be the second time Bogaerts has played in the Midsummer Classic, with his other selection being in 2016.
We all know at this point how good he has been in 2019. The Red Sox shortstop ranks second in the American League with 3.8 fWAR, a mark that is good enough for fourth in all of baseball among position players behind Cody Bellinger, Mike Trout and Christian Yelich. Bogaerts is hitting .301/.392/.541 for a 141 wRC+, is playing steady defense up the middle and providing value with his legs to boot. By Fangraphs’ BsR baserunning metric, he has been among the twenty best baserunners in all of baseball this year. If the Red Sox get hot in the second half and Mike Trout stops being Mike Trout, it’s not hard at all to envision Bogaerts being in the thick of the MVP conversation in September. That’s a ways down the road, though. For now, he gets his rightful spot on the American League roster heading to Cleveland next week.