September 12, 2010

On Baseball: It's never too early to start looking ahead to next year

By Kevin Thomas
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Iglesias agreed: "I learned everything. Amazing guy. Amazing player. Amazing teammate. He helps the young guys. And he plays hard every single day." 

IGLESIAS MAY BEGIN next year in Portland because he missed two months of the season with injury.

But it's possible that both Iglesias and first baseman Anthony Rizzo, 21, will get opportunities to win Triple-A jobs out of spring training.

If both do come back to Hadlock, at least briefly, it will be an exciting infield in 2011, with second baseman Oscar Tejeda and third baseman Will Middlebrooks.

Tejeda, 20, had a breakout year in Salem (.307, 11 home runs, 69 RBI), while Middlebrooks continued his improvement.

Middlebrooks, 22, a fifth-round draft pick in 2007, hit .276 with 12 home runs and 70 RBI. And his fielding and arm were reported to be excellent. 

A LOT OF FORMER Sea Dogs are getting a chance to play in Boston with rosters having expanded. But it's best not to judge successes and failures in one month too quickly.

Remember Dustin Pedroia in 2006? Pedroia was a hotshot prospect who breezed through his first full pro season in 2005, starting in Portland. He was called up to Boston in September 2006 and hit .191.

"He wasn't too good," Red Sox Manager Terry Francona said. "All I heard was that this kid is so good. And all he did was make outs.

"Then he went to spring training (in 2007) and started the year and made outs. And then what everybody in the organization said (turned out to be true). He's a tremendous player." 

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or at:


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