For elder members of Red Sox Nation, we just may have found the next Ted Williams.
At least, that’s what hitting coach Chili Davis thinks.
As of June 13, Xander Bogaerts leads the AL with a .358 average and 92 hits. He also boasts a respectable eight homers, 20 doubles, and 43 RBIs. Just another stop in the road to greatness that began with his impressive 2015 campaign that saw him bat .320 and win the hearts of Red Sox Nation.
In his own quiet and self-assuring way, Xander Bogaerts is building one of the best young careers we’ve seen in recent history, and Davis could not be happier.
“Ceiling? There is no ceiling,” Davis said. “Ted Williams hit .400. Why not Bogaerts? He’s a great kid. Every pitch, every at-bat, he’s not thinking of all that. He’s just playing. That’s the beautiful thing to watch. He’s not about numbers or average. He’s just out there playing every day.”
But Teddy Ballgame? In his rookie season Williams batted .327 while smacking 31 homers and driving in 145, by his third full season he had hit .406, marking the last time a player ever reached that mark. While Xander lacks for power (he may make it to the 15-20 range this season, which is a step up but nowhere near Williams’ level), he shows an adeptness at the plate I haven’t seen since Manny.
When Bogaerts steps up to the plate you can tell he’s working things out with the pitcher, it’s a chess match not a slugfest. Bogaerts is a smart hitter, that along with his natural skill and hard work are why he’s one of the top hitters in the game and will continue to be so. Will he hit .400? Hard to say, but as he matures he’s as good a candidate as ever to top Williams’ feat.
Xander Bogaerts may never reach .400, but make no mistake about it at 23 years old he very well may be one of the best hitters in the game right now period.