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Thursday, January 14, 2016

2016 FANTASY BASEBALL PLAYER ANALYZER: XANDER BOGAERTS SS BOSTON RED SOX

Often times in fantasy baseball, we get certain players who profile as better real-life players then fantasy baseball ones.  Some names that quickly come to mind are Daniel Murphy, Martin Prado, and today's subject, the Boston Red Sox' Xander Bogaerts.  At a still very young 23, Bogaerts is already entering into his fourth major league season as a key upstart player for the Red Sox in 2016.  So now would be a good time to check in again on Bogaerts in terms of his fantasy baseball value and where he can go from here. 

As we already noted, Bogaerts already has three major league seasons as a starting infielder for the Red Sox and the team has done nothing but laud his overall impact.  There is a ton to like here but not all of it is on the offensive side as Bogaerts is excellent defensively and already is showing leadership skills at such a young age.  The offensive numbers?  Solid but far from impactful to this point.  In fact Bogaerts was quite a bit disappointing with the bat his first two years in the league as he batted a woeful .250 and .240 respectively.  The big issue for Bogaerts was a horrific K rate that came in at 26 and 23 percent his first two years in the league which directly lead to the awful batting averages.  However on the bright side, Boagerts walked in more than 10 percent of his plate appearances as a rookie which was a very good number for a young hitter and any further development in his hitting numbers would elevate him by a decent margin both in real life and fantasy baseball. 

Fast forward through the 2015 season and Bogaerts did that and more when it came to upping his offensive contributions.  The light bulb seemed to go on for Bogaerts in terms of his contact skills as he struck out in just 15.4 percent of his at-bats last season which was a vast improvement from the 23 percent K rate just a year prior.  That breakthrough allowed Bogaerts to bat a splendid .320, although some of that was helped by a very lucky .372 BABIP.  As far as the rest of the statistical package was concerned, Boagerts stole a career-high 12 bases as he seemed to gain more confidence on that side of things but the went the other way in home runs with just 7 (a drop of 5 from 2014.)  Finally, Bogaerts topped the 80 mark both in RBI (81) and runs (84) which made him a big asset there at the shallow shortstop spot.

Now let's put the numbers into better perspective as we look toward the 2016 season.  For one thing, Bogaerts's breakthrough in his K rate should keep him as a .300 hitter going forward.  Not .320 mind you as his sky-high and lucky BABIP will normalize at least a bit this season.  However the tools and indicators are all there in terms of being a .300 guy.  In addition, Bogaerts should once again be around or above the 80 mark both in RBI and runs which is not something you see every day at the shortstop spot.  Now the home runs and stolen bases will be where Boagerts either really elevates himself into a top tier fantasy baseball shortstop or keep him in the tier behind the studs like Carlos Correa, Troy Tulowitzki, and Corey Seager.  We like the uptick in steals with the 12 Bogaerts had last season and he has very good speed to maybe even go higher there.  20 would be pushing it but 15 seems doable.  The home runs though are tough to call as Bogaerts went from 12 to 7 the last two years which is not the trend you want to see.  As he continues to fill out at the young age of 23, it stands to reason that Bogaerts will continue to gain power and hit some more baseballs out of the park.  I think Bogaerts should reach the 10 mark in homers this season but 15 could be the ceiling until we see progress there.

When you put things all together, Xander Bogaerts continues to push upwards in his fantasy baseball value but he is still somewhat of an empty average in terms of power and average steals totals at shortstop.  Given that shortstop remains very shallow of talent, Boagerts should still be a top 10 guy at worst and maybe even top 7 given his potential this season. 

2016 PROJECTION:  .302 11 HR 82 RBI 88 R 14 SB 

2 comments:

  1. How do I order a PDF version of your guide?

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  2. JT: buy it from the homepage and I can e-mail it to you in a FILE version and also refund you the shipping cost through PAYPAL.

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