The void on the left side of the Red Sox infield has some clamoring for top prospect Xander Bogaerts to get the call to the bigs, but his Triple-A manager on Thursday morning indicated the 20-year-old wasn’t quite ready for prime time just yet.
“Bogey needs to develop, needs to marinate a little bit more, needs to have some seasoning,” PawSox manager Gary DiSarcina said on Boston sports radio station WEEI. “I don’t think he’ll be down for too long in the minor leagues in the near future. I’m talking about the next couple of years.”
DiSarcina called Bogaerts a “special” player, comparing him to Mike Trout, whom he worked with when he was with the Angels organization. Still, DiSarcina didn’t leave much doubt that he thinks the shortstop Bogaerts, who has played just 43 games at the Triple-A level, should stay in the minors for now.
DiSarcina said Bogaerts still has work to do on defensive fundamentals, positioning, taking angles on balls and baserunning as well.
“He’s been impressive, and for me watching him defensively, he’s a lot further along than I thought he was when he was coming up from Portland,” DiSarcina told WEEI. “He’s just inconsistent in some of his decisions. Over the last, probably 10 days he has gotten better.”
After listing the areas in which Bogaerts needs improvement, the PawSox skipper said “you can’t replicate that stuff in practice or in early work. He has to play. He has to be in games. He has to be in situations.”
There’s also the fact that the Red Sox have a void at third base, not Bogaerts’ natural shortstop position. Bogaerts has played in just five games at third base for the PawSox.
“It’s the matchup of what the big league team needs, where you are progressing of the player and it’s timing,” DiSarcina explained. “This kid has so much going for him. He’s such a great asset, a personality on the club. If you walked into this clubhouse and you told him, ‘Hey, Xander, we’re going to go play baseball on the moon today,’ he’s the first one on the ship.”
For now, the Red Sox are going with a platoon of Brandon Snyder and utility infielder Brock Holt at third base. Another option the Sox have is Will Middlebrooks, who is currently playing alongside Bogaerts in Pawtucket after a June demotion and is scuffling.