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Jose Iglesias is Opening Eyes

As the remaining position players make the journey to Fort Myers today, a young star has been opening eyes on the field. Jose Iglesias, a Cuban defect that the Red Sox signed in September, has caught the attention of the media and teammates. At just 20 years old, the Red Sox may have found their SS of the future.

He’s awesome. I watched him take ground balls the other day and he’s incredible. I had heard about him and read about him and he’s what everybody said. His hands are really good. He’ll get stronger, too. He’s only 20. He has a strong arm, too. He’s going to be a player. Those are some of the best hands I have ever seen. – Dustin Pedroia on Jose Iglesias

To a person, everyone has been impressed with Iglesias’s defensive ability thus far this Spring. A man who is not afraid to express his opinion, Dustin Pedroia, was shocked to see how great of a player he is already (as seen in the quote above). Considering Pedroia may well be Iglesias’s double-play partner in a few years, that’s a great sign for the future.

After reading Pedroia’s quote about Iglesias, I couldn’t help but begin to imagine what the middle infield of the Sox would look like in 2011 or 2012. Pedroia would be the elder statesman and would be able to teach and guide Iglesias at the major league level. If this young kid can improve his ability in the batter’s box, then he could be, dare I say, the first franchise SS since Nomar’s departure.

I don’t want to get ahead of myself and jump the gun on Igelsias’s future, but he has impressed fans as well. My friend went to the Red Sox Foundation player development autograph session and said Iglesias was the nicest player at the event. His work ethic and attitude are off the charts and his talent is that of a more advanced, mature player.

The question I have been asked a few times this spring is, “Will Iglesias surpass Lowrie and be the back-up SS at the major league level?” I highly doubt it. The Red Sox want Iglesias to learn and improve by playing everyday. By sitting on the Red Sox bench, Iglesias will be able to learn from other players, but will miss out on the opportunity to play in live games daily. At age 20, Iglesias can benefit greatly from a year or two at the minor league level, improving on his offensive game.

That being said, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Iglesias spend some time at Fenway after the September 1st roster expansion. If the team believes he will be the SS of the future, some major league experience will be extremely valuable. Keep an eye out for this young talent as he develops and grows into a more complete player.

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Tags: Dustin Pedroia Jose Iglesias Minor Leagues Prospects Spring Training

  • Fragnoli

    Inglesias is certainly giving Sox fans an open mind to a possible end to the shortstop carousel doesn’t he? Of course, the questions remain about whether his bat will equal his glove, but he held his own in the AFL, so hopefully that is a good sign too.

    That said, I wouldn’t doubt if the Sox break camp with both Lowrie and Inglesias in the minors. Theo said early this winter that he’d like to see Lowrie get a full year of baseball under his belt before giving him another shot at the majors.

    Nicely done!

    • B-Dogg

      Thanks for the comment Fragnoli! It’s a tough call on Lowrie, but Iglesias will definitely be in either A or AA ball to begin the season. Since Bill Hall can play SS, my guess is that Lowrie will start at AAA and if he produces and is healthy after a month or two (or in the event of an injury at the MLB level), will be called up for another opportunity.

      His role obviously depends on many factors, but if Lowrie can regain the strength and momentum he had going into the 2009 before his injury, he could be an important bench player for the Sox either this season or next.

  • Rick

    Bdogg – He’s a defector, not a defect!!

  • Michael Christopher

    Most of this was pretty much expected but can he swing a bat? His whole “career” has been about his defensive prowess but that won’t get him far if he hits .205 with 10 walks all season :\

    • B-Dogg

      Thanks for the comment Michael! You hit it right on the head focusing on Iglesias’ bat. From what I have been hearing, his glove is beyond what most expected, even though expectations were sky-high, and he is showing more natural offensive ability. The Red Sox seem convinced that if they focus on patience and being selective at the plate with him, his natural talent will shine and he will begin to hit for a much higher average and develop some power. Still big question marks though.