June 20, 2013; Detroit, MI, USA; Boston Red Sox third baseman Jose Iglesias (10) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the fifth inning against the Detroit Tigers at Comerica Park. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

As Iglesias' At Bats and Stats Pile Up, So Does The Case That He'll Stick

There’s been plenty of chatter here at BSI over the past few weeks about Jose Iglesias. The writers and fans alike  have been hotly and heavily debating his improbable season that is now directly impacting Will Middlebrooks. If Iggy keeps up his current pace, everyone on the left side of the infield should be concerned about their job.

Here’s how it goes. Iglesias’ historically puny offensive output and low at bats have the naysayers clucking that it will never last. Others counter that he’s hot and they don’t care how long it lasts but as long as it does he has to stay in the lineup. As of today, the Red Sox agree with the latter opinion and so do I.

I agree with the Red Sox but also think there’s an outside chance that this kid may be coming into in his own and we’re simply privileged enough to witness the emergence of the real Jose Iglesias. Let’s not forget, he’s just 23-years old. It’s all upside at this point.

Saturday night Iglesias passed the 100 at bat mark and by the way went 2 for 3 against Detroit to lift his batting average to a team best .438. Critics have pointed to his dribblers, seeing-eye and infield singles that have been assisted by his speed. To that I have one thing to say – they all count kids. Why is this cited as luck for Igesias if when Dustin Pedroia does it he’s a hustling dirt dog that finds ways to win? There’s no difference. Getting on, getting over and getting in is all that counts. Last time I checked there is no symbol in the box score for an ugly hit.

With only a month’s worth of at bats he’s hot on the heels of Stephen Drew in hits although Drew has had over 100 more at bats. He’s blowing away Will Middlebrooks in all offensive and defensive categories and he remains healthy, the primary reason why Middlebrooks is sitting and watching while Iglesias plays third base and he’s relegated to a bench role.

It’s also possible that Iglesias is one of those rare birds who ends up having a so-so minor league career and a much better one in the bigs. He wouldn’t be the first. His minor league career batting average of .257 is currently being crushed by his major league career batting average of .307 but to be fair is inflated by this year’s stratospheric numbers.

Iglesias leads the team in batting, on base percentage and even though he doesn’t hit homers he’s second only to – get this – Mike Carp in on base plus slugging percentage. As expected, Iglesias has made just one error this year, even when being tossed into a new position to him for the first time. You gotta give the guy some major props at this point. His fielding won’t tank. We know that. If his average drops 100 points or more he’ll still bat over .300 while gobbling up everything in sight. Is it so hard to believe that Iglesias has arrived?

What do you think?

Will Jose Iglesias stick as a permanent fixture in the Red Sox lineup?

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Tags: Boston Red Sox Jose Iglesias

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