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August 20, 2013

Transaction Analysis

Boston, Xander Bogaerts, and the Return of Ultra-Young Talent

by Ben Lindbergh



Note: originally published on Monday, August 19.

BOSTON RED SOX
Team Audit | Player Cards | Depth Chart

Promoted SS-R Xander Bogaerts from Triple-A Pawtucket. [8/19]
Optioned IF-L Brock Holt to Triple-A Pawtucket. [8/19]
Activated C-R David Ross from the 60-day DL and optioned C-R Ryan Lavarnway to Triple-A Pawtucket. [8/19]

Red Sox Director of Player Development Ben Crockett and Director of Pro Scouting Jared Porter played it coy when asked (repeatedly) about Xander Bogaerts at the Saber Seminar in Boston on Saturday. They acknowledged that he was close—not letting on quite how close—but noted that like any 20-year-old player, he still has weaknesses to work on (citing baserunning and defense, specifically). Either Bogaerts did a lot of developing on Sunday or he still suffers from the same flaws he did then, but he’ll have to work out any remaining kinks at the big-league level. As first reported by WEEI’s Alex Speier, Bogaerts will join the Sox in San Francisco tonight. Our take on Bogaerts from a scouting/fantasy perspective is here; this is about what his arrival means for Boston, and what it says about the prevalence of young players in the post-PED era.

The timing of the promotion is something of a surprise. When the trade deadline passed without a new third baseman in Boston, Bogaerts’ arrival seemed imminent (particularly since he’d just shifted to third at Triple-A). But the Sox called up Will Middlebrooks on August 10th instead, and Middlebrooks has hit .462/.548/.692 in his first eight games back in the big leagues. The walks are especially encouraging, in light of his hacking earlier in the year: he’s drawn four free passes in 31 post-promotion plate appearances, compared to nine in 216 PA prior to his demotion. Boston believed that Middlebrooks was the better choice 10 days ago, and he hasn’t done anything since to suggest otherwise.

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<< Previous Article
Fantasy Article The Stash List: The Fi... (08/20)
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