Bogaerts’ Big Day
With 0 home runs in the past ten games, you might be wondering what big day I’m writing about as it pertains to Red Sox uber-prospect Xander Bogaerts? The day was the trade deadline – one young Bogaerts had nothing to do with. When Jose Iglesias packed his gold glove and headed to Detroit, it signaled the organization’s decision to crown Bogaerts its shortstop of the future. For those who own Bogaerts in a fantasy league (me x2), jigs were danced, adult beverages were consumed and a good time was had all around.
The trade also cemented Bogaerts as one of the top-three prospects in baseball due to positional value.
About the only hitch I can think of is Stephen Drew has been productive when healthy. However, can an organization trust him to remain so? On pace for a three-win season, Drew is going to want multiple years and job security. If I’m the Red Sox, he walks and I’m in search of a veteran like Rafael Furcal who can mentor Bogaerts at shortstop, while maintaining the arm strength to man third base as well.
Based on how quickly Bogaerts is adjusting to more advanced pitching, I expect him to experience success early in his career. A ROY award is a real possibility. In his prime, Bogaerts could push .300 batting averages with 30-plus home runs annually.
If you are a Bogaerts owner, I’d imagine he’s nearly untouchable at the moment. I’d love to hear a few of the best Bogaerts-related offers sent to, and received by readers. I’ve had an owner offering me Ben Zobrist for two of my top prospects for weeks and it’s pure hilarity.
As a secondary storyline, the Red Sox not dealing Will Middlebrooks struck me as a sign he’ll receive another long look at some point. He wasn’t as good as his break out 2012, but not nearly as bad as his 2013 would indicate either. In fact, his .287 career BABIP and triple slash line of .247/.283/.457 feels about right.
Middlebrooks’ plate discipline should improve marginally with maturity and experience, but remember he was a big time football prospect at one point and has always been behind in that area.
2 Feb 2014 / Mike Newman /
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