Xander Bogaerts had been announced as the starting third baseman for the Boston Red Sox in Game 5 of the ALCS last night. The Red Sox, who have received minimal production from Will Middlebrooks (.174, 1 RBI) this postseason, tested the 21-year old as they attempted to take a 3-2 lead in the series.
Bogaerts has been effective in minimal playing time this postseason. In Game 4 of the ALDS against the Tampa Bay Rays, Bogaerts got on base and scored the tying run which eventually led to the Red Sox clinching the series.
Time to throw him in the fire.
Bogaerts’ name appeared multiple times near the trade deadline as possible trade bait for the Red Sox, but he never seriously was involved in official trade talks. Bogaerts turned some heads in his time in the minors with decent power and passable defense.
Interestingly enough, Bogaerts’ name has been mentioned in the same sentence as the greatest baseball legend of all-time: Babe Ruth. Bogaerts (turned 21 on October 1) is now the youngest Red Sox player to start a postseason game eclipsing Ruth who was 21 years and 246 days old in the 1916 World Series.
The Red Sox obviously are not expecting “Ruthian” feats from Bogaerts, but they are hoping he helps them reach the Fall Classic for the first time since 2007.