Re: A Realistic View at 2014: Part I
posted at 11/21/2013 11:08 AM EST
In response to southpaw777's comment:
In response to moonslav59's comment:
Scouts only suggested that Xander might have to move off the position due to growing out of the position, not so much that he wasnt good at SS. Hes 21, so Hes not going to grow anymore, just fill out some. There have been bigger guys stick at SS like Tulo, Hanley, and A-Rod would have if not for Jeter, who is also a big guy at 6'3 and 200lbs.
I have heard the size excuse several times, even recently, but I have heard other reasons as well. soxprospects.com still has this written about him:
Plus arm. Solid-average range, but may lose footspeed as he gets bigger. Needs to slow the game down defensively and resist the feeling to rush plays. Inconsistent with footwork and staying down on the ball. Choppy at times with his movements and reactions.Improvements in the field and physical development should allow Bogaerts to stick at shortstop for the outset of his big league career. If he needs to move off the position, has the tools to play either third base or left field.
And, this from Chris Hatfield:
After the 2011 season, the scouting consensus was that Bogaerts would need to move off short as he got bigger and filled out his 6-foot-3 frame. As 2012 wore on, while it was not a sure thing that he could stick up the middle, he showed signs that he might be able to stay at short to start his career, which combined with the prodigious power he displayed, made him one of the top prospects in the game....
...he has also steadily improved defensively and will be able to stick at shortstop for the foreseeable future. At 6-foot-3, 185 pounds, Bogaerts has filled out since he entered the system, but he has not lost any athleticism. He has plenty of arm for the position, showing plus in game action. He has soft hands and solid range to either side. The area where he could still use improvement comes with his footwork, which can get sloppy at times. He still does not gain ground all that well on the ball, preferring to stay back and wait for a perfect hop, and he has some trouble throwing on the run. His reads at the position are improving, but his first step is still a little slow and with only average foot speed, he does not have the ability to recover. These are small issues, but in combination they hold him back from projecting as a plus-to-better shortstop. Even with that in mind, with his bat and the ability to play average to solid-average defense at a premium defensive position, you have the makings of a potential superstar. – Ian Cundall
His mannerisms and dealings with people give an impression of a young man who is supremely confident in his abilities, but not flashy or arrogant. His ability to succeed in whatever role given to him in the playoffs this year was the latest and perhaps greatest example of his drive, mental toughness, and talent. Bogaerts should be written in pen in the 2014 big-league lineup, though which position on the left side of the infield he plays will be largely determined by roster composition. – Jon Meoli
Then there are these comments (in red and underlined). Basically Everyone has seen the improvements, love his makup, and yes, the possibility is there but not nearly like it was 2 years ago. Most believe he CAN stick at SS. If not the long term, then certainly the forseeable future.
This is why I would put $$ on this kid sticking at SS. Sure he proved he could play 3b, but thats more to do with the last line I underlined rather than being he cant play SS. Xander should be the Sox SS for at least the next few years, and Id put money on it. Thats why I dont even entertain him at 3b next year. Then add Middy to the mix and Its just not realistic that Xander is playing 3b next year.
I think he may become an average defensive SS (#12-18 out of 30), but doubt he ever gets to top 10. I'd be happy if he gets to #12, but my philosophy is to try and get a top 5 defensive SS, but I realize roster make-up dictates what can be or not be.