Starting Out Hot
Xander Bogaerts came into this season off a very solid 2016 campaign. Last season, Xander batted .294 with 21 home runs and 89 RBI, also boasting an OPB of .356 and a SLG of .446. Many people expected Bogaerts to pick up on his very good season and even improve and through two months of the 2017 season, it looked as though he would.
In April, Xander batted .315 and in May he hit a whopping .351. He was easily the Red Sox most consistent hitter over the first two months of the season. That is not a shock either, Bogaerts is always one of the top players in the league in total hits and he was doing the same early, but for whatever reason, he has taken a big fall in terms of numbers.
The Drop Off
In the month of June Xander’s numbers dropped, but not a lot to garner any concern. He batted .277 for the month which is unusually low for him, but the major concern was his power numbers. Xander did not hit a single home run in June and has only hit one for the month of July.
In other words, Bogaerts has only hit one home run in the last two months. He has never been a player with a ton of power, but after hitting 21 homers last season, it is expected that he can produce some pop at the plate more than what he has been doing.
Most people gave Xander a pass for the month of June thinking he would come out of his little slump. However, 28 days into July, his slump has gotten WAY worse. Over this month Bogaerts has only batted .141 with one RBI (his one home run). With those numbers, Xander doesn’t even deserve to be on the field. The team as a whole is not hitting the ball great this month, but as the team’s best hitter, Xander needs to pick it up and lead the way. The horrible power numbers are one thing, but the .100 average is very alarming.
Bad Second Half A Trend?
The drop off in numbers is interesting and there could be many reasons for it. For one, this whole team is not hitting and the clubhouse could be toxic right now with the David Price and Dennis Eckersley drama. If no one is picking each other up, it could definitely have a negative impact on a player. John Farrell doesn’t seem like the best help either.
But, perhaps Bogaerts struggles lately are not that uncharacteristic. Although Bogaerts batted .286 last season, he hit .329 before the all star break and .253 after the all star break. Could a bad post all star break be a trend for Xander Bogaerts be a trend for him? In 2015, Bogaerts hit .337 after the all star break, but hasn’t been close to the the last two seasons It could be a coincidence that he is just struggling at this time of year again, but either way, he needs to turn it around.
A Trip The DL Could Be In Store
Perhaps Bogaerts needs a stint on the DL for a little bit to clear his mind and hit the reset button. A solid week off could be just what he needs. He doesn’t get a ton of off days and the MLB schedule can really take a toll on a player. Worst case scenario, if things don’t improve with or without a trip to the DL, maybe a few “rehab” games could help him before we hit September.
The Red Sox need him to be at his best if they want to do anything come October. Xander is the most important player on this team along with Mookie Betts and if the Red Sox want to do anything this season, they need Bogaerts at him healthy, physically and mentally.