Bogaerts Bringing It

PORTLAND, ME - Throughout a long season of baseball there are many streaks, good and bad. The Sea Dogs are currently riding a great one and the youth movement in the organization can be credited with helping that streak grow. 19-year-old Xander Bogaerts only has registered ten games with the Sea Dogs since getting called up from High-A Salem but has gotten off to a hot start.

Not only is he hitting, collecting seven multi-hit games in his first ten games in Double-A, but he's hitting for power. He has three home-runs and six doubles, and has notched seven RBIs in his brief stint in Portland.

Behind Will Middlebrooks, who has now solidified himself into the Red Sox starting line-up when healthy, Bogaerts is thought by many as the top prospect in the system. Still just a teenager, he doesn't feed into the hype.

"I try not to think about the age part of it," Bogaerts said. "I'm just here to play baseball and try to have fun while I'm out here and give them my best."

The Red Sox have been looking for his best since signing him as a free agent from his native Aruba in late 2009 as a 16 year-old.

The news that he was moving up so quickly was somewhat of a shock but in order to grow as a player, he knows it is part of the game.

"I was surprised at the call up, especially because I am so young," Bogaerts admitted. "But I've been having a pretty good season."

Hitting a combined .311 with 33 doubles and 18 home runs this season entering Tuesday night, the time is now for the young prospect and keeping a level head will contribute to his success just as much as anything.

"When I got promoted my manager just told me to keep doing what I've been doing down in Salem. Just have the same approach," Bogaerts said. "He wanted me to think of it as another high-A game and just do the same things I was doing there, bring that to Double-A."

Coming through the ranks the game evolves slightly and competition picks up. How players adjust on and off the field can be an indicator of their future success.

"I'm just here to learn and I know it is a great opportunity coming here," Bogaerts said. "Seeing what's different from here from over there the pitching is a tough. The pitchers don't make too many mistakes, they don't leave too many balls over the middle."

He got a chance to go head-to-head with another top prospect Friday, last year's number one draft pick, pitcher Gerrit Cole. The two were both involved in the Futures Game.

"I faced him in the Futures Game and I wanted to hit him. I ended up getting a double but it was fun to see him again."

The double off the right-centerfield wall was the first hit of the game for the Sea Dogs, coming in the fifth inning to break up a perfect game. It will be that variety of timely hitting that will pay dividends for Bogaerts as well as the Sea Dogs.

Though he is listed at shortstop, it is unclear whether or not he will be tried out at another position. For Friday's contest he was listed at the DH spot after playing short the first six appearances.

He carries strong bloodlines as well. The Red Sox signed his twin brother Jair as was sent to the Chicago Cubs prior to the 2012 season in compensation to the Theo Epstein transaction.

With his performance up to this point, the expectations are there for Bogaerts. These last 20 games will be a good chance to get a benchmark for next year's campaign. It is safe to say that if he continues his recent performance, Portland is still just the beginning.


Diehard Magazine Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nNot only is he hitting, collecting seven multi-hit games in his first ten games in Double-A, but he's hitting for power. He has three home-runs and six doubles, and has notched seven RBIs in his brief stint in Portland.
\r\n
\r\nBehind Will Middlebrooks, who has now solidified himself into the Red Sox starting line-up when healthy, Bogaerts is thought by many as the top prospect in the system. Still just a teenager, he doesn't feed into the hype.
\r\n
\r\n\"I try not to think about the age part of it,\" Bogaerts said. \"I'm just here to play baseball and try to have fun while I'm out here and give them my best.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe Red Sox have been looking for his best since signing him as a free agent from his native Aruba in late 2009 as a 16 year-old.
\r\n
\r\nThe news that he was moving up so quickly was somewhat of a shock but in order to grow as a player, he knows it is part of the game.
\r\n
\r\n\"I was surprised at the call up, especially because I am so young,\" Bogaerts admitted. \"But I've been having a pretty good season.\"
\r\n
\r\nHitting a combined .311 with 33 doubles and 18 home runs this season entering Tuesday night, the time is now for the young prospect and keeping a level head will contribute to his success just as much as anything.
\r\n
\r\n\"When I got promoted my manager just told me to keep doing what I've been doing down in Salem. Just have the same approach,\" Bogaerts said. \"He wanted me to think of it as another high-A game and just do the same things I was doing there, bring that to Double-A.\"
\r\n
\r\nComing through the ranks the game evolves slightly and competition picks up. How players adjust on and off the field can be an indicator of their future success.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm just here to learn and I know it is a great opportunity coming here,\" Bogaerts said. \"Seeing what's different from here from over there the pitching is a tough. The pitchers don't make too many mistakes, they don't leave too many balls over the middle.\"
\r\n
\r\nHe got a chance to go head-to-head with another top prospect Friday, last year's number one draft pick, pitcher Gerrit Cole. The two were both involved in the Futures Game.
\r\n
\r\n\"I faced him in the Futures Game and I wanted to hit him. I ended up getting a double but it was fun to see him again.\"
\r\n
\r\nThe double off the right-centerfield wall was the first hit of the game for the Sea Dogs, coming in the fifth inning to break up a perfect game. It will be that variety of timely hitting that will pay dividends for Bogaerts as well as the Sea Dogs.
\r\n
\r\nThough he is listed at shortstop, it is unclear whether or not he will be tried out at another position. For Friday's contest he was listed at the DH spot after playing short the first six appearances.
\r\n
\r\nHe carries strong bloodlines as well. The Red Sox signed his twin brother Jair as was sent to the Chicago Cubs prior to the 2012 season in compensation to the Theo Epstein transaction.
\r\n
\r\nWith his performance up to this point, the expectations are there for Bogaerts. These last 20 games will be a good chance to get a benchmark for next year's campaign. It is safe to say that if he continues his recent performance, Portland is still just the beginning.
\r\n
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