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Bogaerts Turns Two Impressive Plays at Third Base

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Since moving to third base, Xander Bogaerts has been solid in the field, and made two very impressive plays against the Orioles on Tuesday. Steve Senne/AP

Xander Bogaerts may be a pretty good defensive third baseman after all.

The 21-year-old, who started the year at shortstop but was moved over to third after the Stephen Drew signing, looked like a wily veteran on Tuesday after making two sensational plays at third appear simply routine.

David Lough led off the bottom of the second, and on a 1-1 count tried to sneak a bunt down the third base line. Boagerts charged the ball perfectly and made a barehand play to grab the ball and fire it on the run to Napoli at first for the out.

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Four pitches later, Caleb Joseph hit a rocket that looked like it would get through the infield, but Bogaerts calmly made a dive to his left to snare the ball and keep Joseph off the bases.

Bogaerts was originally hesitant about moving back to third after the Red Sox signed Drew, saying after the deal was announced that “My heart is always [at] shortstop.”

Since shifting to third base when Drew was called up on June 2, he had made just one error at third base in 17 total chances going into Tuesday’s game. His bat has fallen off in the past few games as he has endured a bit of a slump the past week, but was still hitting .288 with a .378 OBP in 61 games this season, and has been one of the Red Sox most consistent hitters through their rough 2014 campaign.

Check out Bogaerts’ impressive barehanded play here and the diving stop here in video from MLB.com.