April 3, 2013

On Baseball: It's not a question of whether ...

... but when Xander Bogaerts will fulfill his potential and join Jackie Bradley Jr. as a young star with Boston.

By Kevin Thomas kthomas@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

click image to enlarge

Xander Bogaerts, who will start the season with the Sea Dogs, is open to a position change – some feel he's too big to remain a shortstop – but the Red Sox have made it clear short is where he'll be.

The Associated Press

Xander Bogaerts
click image to enlarge

Xander Bogaerts

ASSOCIATED PRESS

"The WBC was a great experience," he said. "I think it will benefit me because when I get up to the big leagues I will have already experienced big crowds."

No one doubts that Bogaerts will get to the big leagues. The questions are when and at what position?

The speculation has always been that Bogaerts will become too big (read: slow) to play shortstop.

But Sea Dogs Manager Kevin Boles said Bogaerts has only improved at the position. And during spring training, Red Sox Manager John Farrell made it clear that "we view Xander as a shortstop."

A lot will depend on Boston's needs. The Red Sox have a pretty good young third baseman in Will Middlebrooks. Boston may have one of the best young fielding shortstops in Jose Iglesias.

"I'm working hard to stay at shortstop," Bogaerts said. "I don't have a problem with (being too big).

"But whatever position the organization wants me to be, I'm open to do it."

The way Bogaerts hits, it's unlikely the Red Sox will hold him down for long. The end of this season is possible. Next year likely.

One thing Bogaerts needs to know: the road upward -- to Triple-A Pawtucket, R.I., and to Boston -- isn't much warmer than Portland, Maine.

"I'm not accustomed to cold weather," he said, then shrugged. "I'll have to get accustomed to it."

Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:

kthomas@pressherald.com

Twitter: ClearTheBases

 

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