Jonny Gomes has played with plenty of young superstars as they have come up through the ranks: Carl Crawford, Josh Hamilton, Evan Longoria to name a few.
Watching Xander Bogaerts pinch hit in Game 4 of the ALDS, walk and score the game-tying run, only solidified for Gomes that Bogaerts could someday rank among his other former teammates.
"I don't know if he can drink or not but he sure can hit," Gomes said of the 21-year-old. "The kid is a heck of a ball player. Just to have the patience in a playoff game. How many people at 20, 21 years old want to hit the game-winning home run, swing as hard as you can, ball hits a cat walk 'Hoo rah! Hoo rah!' Man this guy worked a walk, saw a bunch of pitches and the pitchers he faced def weren't no slouches.
"I've been fortunate to play under a lot of young guys who've turned into superstars over here. Carl Crawford, Josh Hamilton, Rocco Baldelli, Evan Longoria . . . [Bogaerts] definitely fits the mold. You guys see the talent in between the lines. I see the fifth, sixth, seventh cent in the clubhouse, the work ethic, the ability to work, the ability to do all these different things. This guy's on the right page, absolutely."