The most recent buzz around Red Sox Nation has been centered on the recent call up of Christian Vazquez, however, there is still plenty of talk centered around Xander Bogaerts’ hitting power. Red Sox fans are waiting for the day when Bogaerts hits for power. However, that day won’t necessarily come until he starts belting 20+ home runs a season. The shortstop received a Silver Slugger Award last year after having a very solid offensive season. He batted .320 with 81 RBI’s, 7 home runs, and an OBP of .776, nonetheless many people were still unsatisfied with his home run total. Now, after Bogaerts hit his first home run of the 2016 season against Toronto on Saturday to help the Red Sox to a 4-2 victory, the topic of his power is coming back into play.
Xander Bogaerts is a contact hitter. He has excellent plate coverage and has the ability to spray the ball to all parts of the field. However, people seem to always want more home runs out of him. What troubles me with this desire, is that hitting for power will naturally lower his good contact percentage and increase his fly out and strike out percentage. The reason why his RBI’s were up last year was because of his ability to consistently make good contact.
Getting on base should be his number one priority. He has been hitting in front of David Ortiz and Hanley Ramirez, and the type of hitter he was last year is perfect for his position in the lineup. I would love to see Xander have his home run totals increase, however not at the expense of lowering his overall average and on base percentage. For now, Xander don’t change a thing. The home runs will come over time, but don’t alter your plate approach if they aren’t yet there.