San Diego beat the Los Angeles Angels 10-3 at Petco Park, its home stadium, on the 4th (Korea Standard Time). He won a pleasant victory for the first time in a long time and recorded a season record of 39 wins and 46 losses.
Starter Blake Snell, who has been showing his power pitching in recent years, threw well, and the batters, who have been fluctuating recently, scored three points from the start of the first inning, taking the atmosphere of the game leisurely. At the center was Xander Bogartz, the team’s main shortstop who fired a cannon in the first inning.
Leadoff Kim Ha-sung hit a hit and got on base, but Soto’s ground ball made no additional advance. On top of that, Tatis Jr. stepped down with a fly ball and became the first base with two outs. In addition, San Diego’s batters seemed to show lethargy. However, Machado saved the fire with a heavy hit, and Bogartz hit a preemptive three-point shot that dominated the atmosphere at the beginning of the game, which could change the flow. It was the power of a home run.
Bogartz, who hit his ninth home run of the season, was active with three hits (one home run) and three RBIs in three at-bats. San Diego’s long-hitting power that Bogartz wanted and Bogartz showed early in the season came out. But it is too early to be relieved here. This is because Bogartz’s performance this season is difficult to be satisfied with his performance in one game. It’s definitely less than the team expected.
Bogartz, an All-Star shortstop with both offense and defense, has a batting average of 0.259, nine home runs, 31 RBIs, and an OPS (on-base percentage 안전놀이터추천 + slugging percentage) of 0.740 in 79 games this season. It is much lower than the individual career batting average (.290) and the individual career OPS (.810). The defense remains relatively solid, but the offense expected when San Diego recruited him is not coming out well. After a good performance in early April, it was too sluggish in May (OPS 0.546) and June (OPS 0.699).
San Diego’s plan was like this when it invested a huge amount of $280 million (about 363.1 billion won) in Bogartz over 11 years. He was burdened with frequent shoulder dislocations and eventually moved Fernando Tatis Jr., who had undergone surgery, from shortstop to the outfield to maximize his offense. The idea was to put Bogartz, who has All-Star skills, on shortstop and move Kim Ha-sung, who filled Tatis Jr.’s gap last year, to second base while using it in all infield positions.
I expected to get a “booster” effect in both offense and defense. However, not everything went as planned either. The expected synergy effect is not coming out because Bogartz is struggling with wrist injuries and is sluggish in the attack. According to the statistics website “Fangraph,” Bogart’s adjusted score productivity (wRC+) this year is 109, which is significantly lower than last year’s 134. On the other hand, Kim Ha-sung’s wRC+, which went to second base because of Bogartz, is 112. Rather, the attack also shows Kim Ha-sung’s better performance.
Bogartz is clearly a good player and deserves more than $20 million a year. I won’t stay on this grade now. However, the investment amount is $280 million. In terms of current performance alone, San Diego may have been a better choice to just use Kim Ha-sung as a shortstop and invest $280 million elsewhere. This is because Kim Ha-sung is playing as well as Bogartz in offense and defense, and it is difficult to move his defensive position in the reality of Bogartz, who has only seen shortstop so far. On top of that, Manny Machado, who is also a very long-term contractor, is at third base.
San Diego has a lot to spend. At the end of this season, closer Josh Hader will be qualified as a free agent. Juan Soto, who is a key hitter and is likely to have a total of more than $400 million at the end of 2024, and Kim Ha-sung, who is now an indispensable player on the team, are also FA.
Money is needed to catch them, and Payroll liquidity has been drastically reduced by spending $280 million on Bogartz. How this investment will be remembered and concluded depends on Bogartz’s bat. If Bogartz is sluggish, it could not enjoy the expected effect and cause key players to leave the team.