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Eric D. Schabell
Contributing Writer

A Dutch national, one of the best prospects in baseball, and currently tearing up Triple-A pitching.

The question is for how long?

He is being compared to Manny Machado who is called "...one of the most electrifying players in the majors."

Xander Bogaerts has gone through the Red Sox farm system like a whirlwind. He torched the pitching at Portland SeaDogs, hitting .311 with a .909 OPS to earn a quick promotion to Triple-A Pawtucket. Since promoting he has 7 homers in his first 29 games.

He is knocking on the door, but there are a few things in the way of a promotion.

First off he is playing shortstop, which will be vacated once Stephen Drew leaves town, but Jose Iglesias will slide over to that position. This leaves the Red Sox with an opening for him at third base if they decide what they will do with Will Middlebrooks who was demoted this year back to Triple-A.

There is room for Xander Bogaerts to take third base and he has worked on both defense and his approach to hitting over the last year. Last year he had 106 strikeouts with 44 walks over 532 plate appearances. This year he improved with 72 strikeouts with 50 walks over 378 plate appearances. He has shown the ability to adjust his approach, game to game, at-bat to at-bat, pitch to pitch, which shows a maturity beyond his 20 years.

His focus and improvement in defense has been one of his big steps forward this year. He has worked with experienced position coaches, played in the Futures game, and is perfecting the nuances of positioning his 6'3", 175 pound frame. He is considered too big to remain at shortstop, so a move to third base or even outfield would be inevitable. He is very clear in that he will play where he is needed, even stating he can pitch or catch if so needed.

Got to love that enthusiasm.

It could be in the late summer of this year that he gets a cup of coffee, but whenever that call comes, he is going to be fun to watch. He makes the game look easy, hitting or fielding, and the way he goes about it give you the feeling that he will be going a long ways.

If you listen close you can almost hear him at the door:

Knock, knock.

Who's there?

Xander.

Xander who?

You don't know who Xander Bogaerts is?


BREAKING NEWS (added at 2:30PM)

Guess who is playing third base now for Triple-A Pawtucket?



Post a comment or via twitter @ericschabell with your thoughts.

More by Eric D. Schabell

Eric D. Schabell 7/29/2013 02:00:00 PM Edit
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