I suppose it was only a matter of time.
Following Wednesday’s minor league game, the Boston Red Sox promoted top prospect Xander Bogaerts to Triple-A Pawtucket to take over the role of starting shortstop.
Bogaerts is the real deal. There was no doubt in my mind that this transaction would happen sooner rather than later, but the way it happened comes as a bit of a surprise (at least to me). I fully expected Bogaerts to take Jose Iglesias’ job in Pawtucket, especially after seeing the latter struggle at the plate in the minors with a .202 average and a .262 OBP. The surprise part of the equation is that the vacancy created at shortstop is a result of Iglesias’ promotion to the big leagues. And the corresponding Bogaerts move would certainly indicate that Iglesias is there to stay.
At just 20-years-old, Bogaerts was already the youngest position player in Double-A. Now, he’ll take his game to the highest level of competition in the minors. It will be interesting to see iof he can still dominate as he did in the lower levels.
The 6-foot-3 right-hander is batting .311 through 56 minor league games, with an OBP of .407 (good for sixth in the league). He has six home runs, 35 RBI, and has scored 40 runs. His .909 OPS is outstanding, especially considering the position that he plays.
The news isn’t all positive, however. With nine errors and just a .952 fielding percentage, Bogaerts still has some work to do defensively.
Boagerts is ranked the eighth best prospect in all of baseball by Baseball America and 20th by MLB.com.
(JM Catellier is the author of the book Fixing Baseball, a guide to restructuring the Hall of Fame. Follow him on Twitter: @FixingBaseball and Facebook, and check out his site: www.fixingbaseball.com)