If the all-star teams were selected today, it would be difficult to predict who would be the starting shortstop for the American League. Right now, I think there is a clear battle between Cleveland’s Francisco Lindor and Boston’s Xander Bogaerts. This weekend we got to see the two matchup at Fenway Park and both played very well. So who would you take, Lindor or Bogaerts? Let’s look at the numbers.
Lindor is in his first full MLB season and is putting together a very solid season in his age 22 season. After Sunday’s game, Lindor’s stat line is .325/.383/.428. Lindor is now hitting 3rd for the Indians and their offense has taken off as they have scored the second most runs in the Majors in the month of May (102). Lindor is a complete baseball player as he is one of the best defensive shortstops in all of baseball. As of Sunday, he is 6th among all shortstops with 3 defensive runs saved. He has also stolen 8 out of 9 bases this season which has lead him to 2.2 WAR through the first 41 games of the season. The future is bright for Cleveland and their young shortstop.
Like Lindor, Bogaerts is also very young, 23 years-old, although it seems like he has been in the league for a while. He is also the 3-hole hitter for the Boston Red Sox and is off to a great start as he has played a big part on baseball’s best offensive team. Bogaerts’s stat line is .346/.397/.495. and is tied with Daniel Murphy for the most hits in baseball with 63. He is not quite the defensive shortstop Lindor has shown so far but he has improved in each of his three seasons in the big leagues. Bogaerts is 6 of 7 with stolen bases which has lead him to a 2.5 WAR. These two have had excellent starts to the season and to their careers.
Now Lindor and Bogaerts are not the only shortstops in the America League that are having good seasons. Carlos Correa and Elvis Andrus are also having nice seasons but not quite at the same level as the other two. Bogaerts and Lindor are clearly the favorites in the young season and it will be fun to watch over the next few weeks to see who claims the starting role on the American League roster. Who is your pick?