Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports
With less than a month until Spring Training it’s entering prospect season for the major MLB publications and Xander Bogaerts has been named as the top shortstop prospect in baseball by the prospect writers at MLB.com. It is likely the first of many accolades that the 21 year old will receive in the coming weeks before the season begins.
Teddy Cahill at MLB.com presented the list of the Top 10 shortstops and summed up Bogaerts rather succinctly:
"The Aruba native made his Major League debut as a 20 year old in August 2013, becoming the youngest Red Sox position player in 41 years. Bogaerts has all the makings of a future star. He has the ability to hit for both average and power. Bogaerts is a smooth fielder and can play both shortstop and third base. He played himself into an everyday role as a third baseman during the 2013 playoffs, hitting .296 in 12 games as Boston won the World Series."
Most Boston fans are pretty familiar with Bogaerts’ potential by this point, having heard the talk for the past few years as he’s risen through the team’s minor league system. In 515 combined plate appearances between Double-A and Triple-A he’d hit .297/.388/.477 with 44 XBH (15 HR, 23 2B, 6 3B), more than enough to earn a chance to make his debut with the team in late August. Bogaerts hit just .250/.320/.364 in 50 PA, but bounced back with a strong showing for the team during their playoff run – hitting .296/.412/.481 in 12 games.
Bogaerts is currently penciled in to be the team’s starting shortstop on Opening Day and should see the field nearly everyday between shortstop and third base.