FORT MYERS, Fla. — Xander Bogaerts, for the first time that he could remember, played a different position on Tuesday.
The shortstop shifted over to third base and took some groundballs in preparation for the World Baseball Classic. Bogaerts, who is from Aruba, will play for the Netherlands.
“I’m not worried about it. It’s just something new,” Bogaerts said. “It should be a good experience, the whole thing.”
Bogaerts looked comfortable at third base. Other than the ball getting on him faster, many of the angles are the same as shortstop.
“He’s an infielder. You know what? He’s got a lot of natural ability and instincts there,” Sox manager John Farrell said. “We’ll get two days of workdays with him and then get him in a game.”
Bogaerts will start at third base against Boston College on Thursday in the second game of a doubleheader.
The Red Sox have no plans to move the 20-year-old Bogaerts from shortstop. But the Dutch team has Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons and conferred with the Red Sox about using Bogaerts at third base or as the designated hitter.
“It’s been clearly outlined,” Farrell said.
Bogaerts leaves the Sox next week to join the Dutch team in Arizona for a brief mini-camp before traveling to Taiwan for the first round of the tournament.
Bogaerts is generally regarded as one of the top prospects in baseball.