The Red Sox’ top prospect, shortstop Xander Bogaerts, has been promoted to AAA Pawtucket according to the PawSox Facebook page as well as their Website. Bogaerts will hopefully be in the lineup tonight as the PawSox take on Ricky Romero and the Buffalo Bisons, weather permitting.
The 20-year-old has hit .311/.407/.502 with six home runs, six triples and twelve doubles in 56 games in AA Portland this season. In parts of two seasons at AA he has hit .315/.392/.531 over the course of 350+ plate appearances, all while being the youngest player in the league. Bogaerts will carry that moniker with him to the International League, and will also be the second youngest in all of AAA.
The Aruba native’s promotion comes on the heels of Jose Iglesias’ seemingly permanent recall to the Majors, which left an opening at AAA. But that is not to say Bogaerts is undeserving of the honor. Bogaerts is the first Eastern League player at or under 20 to hit at least .300/.400/.500 in 14 years, when in 1999, Nick Johnson hit .345/.525/.548 as a 20-year-old. Bogaerts has also walked 35 times in 259 plate appearances this year, compared to his one walk in 92 trips to the plate for Portland last season.
With the aggressive promotion to AAA, it may take Bogaerts some time to adjust to some of the best pitching he has ever faced. But now that he is only one stop away from Boston, it is possible that if he responds well to the change, we could see him as early as September when rosters expand. A good showing in AAA could also position Bogaerts to win a roster spot right out of the gate next year, when Stephen Drew leaves town.