I just spent a better half of this past weekend at the Saberseminar in Boston where I heard from some of the top statistical and mathematical gurus in the game of baseball. I had a few takeaways from the two-day event.
Firstly, on a non-baseball note, I feel bad for these mathletes a little bit. They spend all this time, and I mean hours upon days upon months researching guys they’ve never even met just for an article or two that says, “Hey Stephen Drew, you swing at 0-1 sliders too much”. But hey, if it’s what you love then keep doing it. Secondly, these stat maniacs, most of whom were from the Boston area, all think Red Sox prospect Xander Bogaertes will be the next coming of Christ.
When it was the head of player development for the Red Sox, Ben Crockett’s turn to speak he, no joke, referenced Bogaertes close to 10,000 times. The self-proclaimed sabermatricians got all giddy and smiley every time he mentioned the X-man (which is by far the most natural nickname I’ve ever heard).
I’m sure the excitement from these guys (and yes, it was probably 97% guys at the seminar) was off the charts when only a day after the conference concluded did the Red Sox announce they had called up the 20-year old shortstop. The call-up is well deserved after the Oranjestad, Aruba native registered a .284 batting average and .369 OBP with the Pawtucket Red Sox this year while coasting through the Red Sox minor league system; he hasn’t hit lower than .260 for a season in the past three years. I’m no scout but, Bogaertes just seems very comfortable at the plate and has undoubtedly one of the best swings in the minor leagues.
Watch out, because this guy very well could be the next big thing in the MLB. Bogaertes could easily join the likes of Bryce Harper, Mike Trout, Matt Harvey and Stephen Strasberg as the top talents for the next generation of baseball.