Re: What happens when Bogaerts gets promotion to AAA?
posted at 1/22/2013 2:52 PM EST
Solid-average range, but losing 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. Has been improving with his defensive technique, but does not look likely to stick at shortstop. Will transition to third base or left field down the line. Can stick on the infield.
Says he "will transition to 3B or LF"...not might.
The other concern for Bogaerts is defense. Currently a shortstop, he cut his error rate substantially this year, more sabermetric confirmation of subjective reports noting improved steadiness on defense. Whether he has the range to remain at shortstop once his body fills out is an open question; many scouts assume he'll end up at third base, or perhaps right field if Will Middlebrooks lays permanent claim to the hot corner in Fenway. Bogaerts should have the bat to play at either position.
Says, "many scout assume he'll end up at 3B..."
In terms of defense, he has demonstrated a slightly above-average arm and good hands, but his footwork is rough and he needs to slow down his game. Many scouts have projected that he could end up moving to left field or third base, especially if he fills out his frame a lot more. But both Bogaerts and Crockett see him sticking at shortstop for the foreseeable future.
“In terms of long-term projection, we have been impressed by the strides he's made at shortstop in a short period of time,” Crockett said. “We have no plans to move him.”
“I grew up playing shortstop and I’d like to continue playing shortstop in professional ball,” Bogaerts said. “But I would play anywhere as long as I'm in the lineup. Shortstop is a difficult position, but I think I get where I need to be with more training.”
Bogaerts has centered his training this offseason on his defense and continued conditioning, but he also got some great experience with the Netherlands national team, which took home the gold medal in the 2011 Baseball World Cup (Aruba is an autonomous territory of the Netherlands).
“I’ve been working out a lot in the gym this offseason, doing a lot of running and working to improve my defense,” Bogaerts said. “I've been in Aruba for most of the offseason because I played with the Dutch World Cup team -- the champion Dutch World Cup team.”
In 2012, Bogaerts hopes to incorporate more athleticism into his game while keeping his mind in the right place.
“I want to use my speed more in the coming season, in addition to improving my defense,” Bogaerts said. “Also, I have to always remember that the mental part of the game is very important. Playing this game, you're going to fail a lot. And you have to be able to deal with it.”
Sounds a bit more friendly to Boggy staying at SS.
Arm: Plus raw arm strength. Gets inconsistent with arm slot and footwork at times, leading to less zip on throws and a loss of accuracy. Should have true plus arm in time and can profile well at third base. Grade – 50/60
Fielding: Can handle SS right now. Good athlete and he moves well at the position. Has solid-average range to both sides and a high level of effort. Good hands and good first-step reactions. Range at SS is likely unsustainable given how body projects. Potential to be solid-average defender at 3B with good glove work and a plus arm. Grade – 30/50
So will he move? Obviously Goldstien anticipates it. My Bullpen Banter colleagueAl Skorupa saw him on Tuesday and came away impressed with his current ability at short, noting he made every play whether it be in the hole or charging the ball. His largest concern – which I share from my looks at Xander earlier in the year – is that despite being a great athlete with a”well proportioned” body he could outgrow the position. In his chat yesterday, Keith Law of ESPN said something similar, “I think he ends up at third but there is some sentiment he could stay at short at least a few years; he’s a good athlete and while he’s going to get bigger he’s not huge yet.” Our own Mike Newman told me that Bogaerts has a 35% chance to stick at shortstop. However, because his bat is so dynamic Newman feels the presence of Will Middlebrooks and Jose Iglesias could push him elsewhere on the diamond because their value is heavily tied to their defensive ability. Obviously opinions are split but let’s not concern ourselves with a shift to the outfield until the young Sox plays himself off short or third.
The big question with Bogaerts is his future defensive home. Currently a shortstop, there are concerns that the 6’3” infielder could eventually get too big for the position. The contact I spoke with, though, thinks he’ll remain at his current position stating that the prospect has made “impressive fundamental improvements.” He added that Bogaerts possesses a strong arm good range and athleticism.