One of the doubles came Thursday in a 7-3 victory against the Twins. He lined out in his two other at-bats.
“I think he’s starting to figure some things out,” Farrell said.
Now it has to translate to production. Iglesias is expected to start the season at Pawtucket but could get pushed by Bogaerts, a talented 20-year-old who is the organization’s best prospect.
The Sox also have Deven Marrero, their 22-year-old first-round draft pick last June, and 19-year-old Jose Vinicio, who was signed to a $1.9 million bonus out of the Dominican Republic.
Another shortstop, 19-year-old Tzu-Wei Lin of Taiwan, was signed for $2.05 million last season.
“We have a lot of guys,” said Iglesias. “We have a lot of talent. I wish those guys well. I just know I need to work.”
The message is clear: Iglesias has competition, and the shortstop of the future is anybody’s job. Whatever assumptions Iglesias may have had about his career two years ago have vanished.
“You separate people that way and you see what people are made of,” said Beyeler. “That’s how the game works, you weed out people that way. But I think he’ll rise to the occasion. He understands.”
Said Farrell, “I think competition is the best thing that can happen to anybody. When you’ve got competition in a case like this, I think it makes everybody better and makes us a healthier organization.”
An uncertain future
Off the field, Iglesias has found peace after defecting from Cuba for the sake of his career.
His father, Candelario, has been in the United States for two years, and over the winter, Iglesias reconnected with his mother, Barbara, during a trip to Mexico.
“She was in Cuba and I didn’t see her for four years but we were able to meet for 10 days,” Iglesias said. “I missed her. She hasn’t even been able to see me play on television and she used to go to all my games when I was kid.”
Iglesias spends much of his time off the field with his son, Jose Jr.
“He needs a lot of attention, like his father,” Iglesias said. “He grabbed a bat the other day and hit some line drives. Now I have to do that.”
The Sox have not run out of patience with Iglesias. But the coming season will determine how deep that reservoir is. There could be a team out there willing to sacrifice his bat for the wonder of his glove.
“He has major league ability and I’m sure there’s going to come a time where he’s a very good major league player,” Farrell said.
Will that be with the Red Sox?
That Farrell paused for a few seconds before answering spoke to the degree of uncertainty surrounding Iglesias.
“It could very well be,” he finally said.