Xander Bogaerts and David Price have been the two most frustrating Red Sox players to watch over the past couple of years. Both loaded with talent, the two have been madly inconsistent.
In 2018, however, so far so good.
Heading into play Sunday against the Rays, the Sox owned the best record in baseball at 7-1. It’s ridiculous early, but there’s plenty to like about this particular Boston team – and leading the way are Bogaerts and Price.
Bogaerts bopped a grand slam onto Lansdowne Street and had six RBIs in the Sox’ destruction of Tampa Bay on Saturday, as he upped his batting average to a team-best .371. He also leads the Sox so far in homers, with two, RBIs – with nine, OBP – with a .457 mark, and hits with 13.
“[Bogaerts] is a great athlete,” Red Sox manager Alex Cora said. “If he puts himself, body-wise, in a good position, he’s gonna keep doing what he did today. He’s hunting strikes right now. One thing we’re proud of too is he’s playing defense [very well]. He’s moving his feet. He’s not out of control. He’s got great balance. For him to play under control at shortstop, that’s great to see.”
Of course, Bogaerts is notorious for fast starts, only to fall off a cliff later in the season. In April of last year, he was working with a .315 batting average. In May, he hit .351.
But in June, he hit just .277. Things completely went off the rails for Bogaerts in June, when he hit just .163.
What appears to already be different about this season, however, is that Bogaerts is hitting for power early. He had zero dingers in April last year, and just five RBIs. He has already eclipsed those ugly numbers just 10 days into this April.
Equally as impressive as Bogaerts so far this season has been is Price, who has not given up a single run in 14 innings pitched (two starts). On Opening Day against Tampa Bay, he allowed just four hits while striking out five and a week later against the same team he gave up only three hits while K-ing five again.
Price is another one who often gets off to strong starts as he had strong outings in his first two starts of 2017 and he looked decent enough in his first start as a Red Sox two years ago – giving up just two earned runs.
The Sox lefty will get a true test on Tuesday night at Fenway when the Sox will have to deal with the Yankees and their lineup featuring Giancarlo Stanton and Aaron Judge.