SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — The first-place Boston Red Sox are giving 20-year-old shortstop prospect Xander Bogaerts his chance in the big leagues for the stretch run.
More than anything, the move is to give the regulars a break when needed so everybody stays fresh for September.
Bogaerts, who is from Aruba, had his contract selected from Triple-A Pawtucket and he flew cross-country with Boston on Monday morning in time to open a three-game series against the San Francisco Giants.
When his first at-bat arrives, Bogaerts plans to let things come to him.
“Oh man, I’ll probably try to get a walk,” he said, grinning. “Be as patient as possible, not try to be too over aggressive, just enjoy the time.”
Manager John Farrell said he might give Bogaerts a start as soon as Tuesday night.
“He’s had a very good year offensively,” Farrell said. “He’s still got some development to do on the defensive side that he’s working through, as well as on the basepaths. But we’re talking about a young, exciting offensive player — a very good player all around that, at 20 years of age, is still developing. But we feel like he as a person and his abilities will give us a shot in the arm and make an impact here.”
Bogaerts provides depth at third base and shortstop for Boston after batting .297 with 15 home runs, six triples, 23 doubles and 67 RBIs in 116 minor league games between Triple-A and Double-A this season.
He was playing dominoes at the team hotel when he got word from Triple-A manager Gary DiSarcina of the promotion, then flew to Boston late Sunday.
He said he received valuable experience in the World Baseball Classic for The Netherlands, an unlikely semifinalist.
The Red Sox certainly have seen big strides in a matter of months.