Acquired: Trade with Boston Red Sox, July 2013
Ranking History: N/A
Signed by the Red Sox out of Cuba, Iglesias joined the American professional ranks as a slick fielding shortstop with Major League potential. After hitting .350 in just 13 games at short-season Lowell, Iglesias hit .285 in 57 games for Double-A Portland during his debut summer in 2010.
Promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket in 2011, Iglesias struggled to a .235/.285/.269 line in 101 games. He also made his Major League debut that summer by hitting .333 in ten games.
In 2012, Iglesias returned to Triple-A and improved to a .266/.318/.306 line with nine doubles, one triple and one home run. Iglesias again saw time in Boston during the summer, hitting just .118 in 25 games.
Having hit just .202 in 33 games with Pawtucket this year, Iglesias has found surprising success in the big leagues this season. Despite a recent cold streak, he still has an intriguing .330/.376/.409 line with ten doubles and one home run.
It is impossible to begin a scouting discussion surrounding Iglesias without opening with his defensive abilities. A long-time National League scout once dubbed his viewing of Iglesias in the field as a "pornographic experience."
Iglesias is arguably the best defensive player in the Major Leagues, ahead of even Atlanta's Andrelton Simmons. On top of exceptional instincts for the position, Iglesias has excellent first-step quickness that enables unthinkable range to both sides. His actions are fluid and his hands are among the softest I have ever seen. Everything about his defensive profile rates highly on the scouting scale.
At times, Iglesias can get careless with the simple plays and make occasional needless errors. He gets a bit flippant with his throws at times, but generally displays excellent accuracy with his plus arm.
Iglesias's overall defensive profile is like nothing I have ever scouted in person. He easily draws the rare 80 on the 20-80 scouting scale; rating as an uncommon "elite" defender. At his peak, Iglesias' defense could rival that of well-known defensive wizards such as Ozzie Smith, Rey Ordonez and Omar Vizquel.
Offensively, Iglesias offers very little. He has a solid feel for contact but offers limited strength and as a result lacks the ability to drive the ball. He is not a patient hitter; preferring to swing the bat rather than work deep counts.
Though he generates above-average bat speed, Iglesias does not impact the ball, in large part because he frequently expands his strike zone, leading to weak contact. At best, he could pick up 15-20 doubles and a handful of triples a season while hitting .250 at the Major League level. He is an above-average runner with good instincts that could also steal 10-15 bases a season if given the opportunity to run.
Iglesias can be a bit of a diva and some scouts lack confidence in his makeup. He is seemingly easily put off and will go into occasional mental funks. Iglesias' mental lapses could become less frequent with a more secure Major League role and there are some scouts that believe he could shine brightest on the biggest stages, much like many Cuban talents.
In total, while scouts and fans alike would prefer more out of his stick, Iglesias's glove is beyond exceptional and should make him an everyday Major League for a long time. He can step into a big league lineup immediately and play elite Major League defense while not looking like a complete offensive zero.
Performance Level Team AB AVG 2B HR RBI SO BB OBP% SLG% AAA
Iglesias has a slight frame and there are some concerns about his long term durability, but he has experienced only minor injuries thus far in his career.
Acquired to replace Jhonny Peralta if/when his PED-related suspension comes down, Iglesias offers more than just short-term help. At just 23-years old, Iglesias enters the Tigers organization as the de facto shortstop of the future.
With one of baseball's most unbelievable defensive skill sets, Iglesias moves to the head of a line that includes Eugenio Suarez and Dixon Machado. Iglesias' defensive prowess should compensate for his lack of offensive punch and make him an everyday big leaguer; a projection Suarez and Machado do not share.
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