It has been a long, long time since a player as broke into the Red Sox with as much expectation as Xander Bogaerts.
They are saying, "...he is the closest thing to a sure thing as you will see in baseball."
Last year breaking on the scene late in the season he was but 20 years old. He climbed a long hill to get there, but once on the scene he helped the Red Sox through the postseason and accomplishing quite a list of feats.
called up in August 2013 as the first 20-year-old position player since Dwight Evans in 1972
he hit one of the longest homers at Yankee Stadium in 2013, over the outfield bullpen
in the postseason he scored nine runs in 12 games, compiling a .412 on-base percentage
he hit a triple in Game 3, becoming the third-youngest player to hit a triple in a World Series game after Ty Cobb and Mickey Mantle
his seventh-inning single in Game 5 helped the Sox to a 3-1 victory
he was up to the middle of the batting order when the World Series ended
they named a baseball field after him in his home country of Aruba
With his limited playing time with the Red Sox last season, he will be in his first official rookie season in 2014. He has been focusing full time this year during Spring Training on playing shortstop, instead of spreading his time between short and third. With the Red Sox pulling back on signing Stephen Drew this offseason, it looks like we might be seeing Xander Bogaerts full-time.
There has also been much said about Xander Bogaerts being too big for shortstop. He is listed as 6'3" and 185 pounds, but he says this has been exaggerated, "...I wish I could stop growing. But I’m 6-1. I had the physical the other day and I was 6-1, 210. I have no idea where this 6-3 is coming from."
Now for a bit of a sneak peak into the drills being done down at Fort Myers in Red Sox Spring Training. The infield is working a pop-fly drill and you can see Xander Bogaerts from the shortstop position drifting back into center a few times to catch the ball.
Eric is a contributing writer since 2013 and a true Overseas Fan of the Boston Red Sox living in the Netherlands. He's spent years on baseball fields around the world pitching. His weekends are now spent helping the next generations of pitchers to find their passion and love for the sport. More articles by Eric: https://www.redsoxlife.com/search/label/ericschabell