Last week, Clave wrote about the the talent of Xander Bogaerts and the possibility of his call up. This week, it happened, and he went 0-3 in his debut for the Boston Red Sox. But the 0-3 day is in no way an indicator of what may lie ahead for the 20 year-old shortstop.
He is arguably the top rated position player to be called up this season. Baseball America’s prospect rankings have had him in the top ten the entire season.
Xander Bogaerts could very well be the best shortstop the Red Sox have had since Nomar Garciaparra terrorized opposing pitchers in the late 90’s. He is definitely the best position player prospect since Hanley Ramirez. If he can be anything close in productivity to Hanley Ramirez’s early career statistics, the Red Sox have an elite talent at shortstop for years to come.
Based on raw talent alone, he will be the most talented all-around player available on your waiver wire at the shortstop position. Some of you will say that is a bold statement considering Derek Jeter is available in over 70% of most ESPN leagues. But the reason you want Bogaerts over Jeter is really quite simple. Xander is getting at-bats for the Red Sox while Derek Jeter is still trying to overcome his latest injury setback.
The Red Sox think so highly of him that they refused to part with him in a proposed deal to send him to Philadelphia that would have brought Cliff Lee to Boston.
Through 56 games at Double-A Portland, he hit .311 with six homeruns, a .407 on base percentage and a .502 slugging. He has combined for 15 homeruns, 67 RBI’s and 23 doubles this season when you factor in his AA and AAA stats. Let’s not forget, the kid has good speed to go along with his bat, stealing seven bases in 10 attempts.
Bogaerts has a tremendous upside in the power department. His 23 doubles are an indication that he will grow into an even more powerful hitter as he matures into his 6’ 3”, 185lb. frame. In his prime you will see him hit 25+ homers a year, which is very similar to what Hanley Ramirez has matured into.
He hit seventh in the order for his debut. That is where he will reside for the remainder of the season. Your team won’t get a lot of RBI opportunities from him but he will score a good amount of runs from a prodigious Red Sox offense. His power will be on display especially at home with Fenway Park’s short porch in left field. He will be a great late season addition for a team looking for offense from the middle infield position.