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Xander Bogaerts: The next superstar shortstop?

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Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is giving us a glimpse of how good he will be in the future.

Dilip Vishwanat

The Red Sox called up shortstop prospect Xander Bogaerts back on August 19th and proceeded to give him exactly 50 plate appearances over their last 40 or so games. Not exactly the best idea for your top prospect an one of the top 2 or 3 prospects in the game, but then again, the Red Sox won their division and are playing in the World Series right now, so they didn't exactly need him much.

Bogaerts played at two levels of the minors before his mid-August promotion, hitting .311-.407-.502 with 6 HRs, 40 runs, 35 RBI and 5 stolen bases in 259 plate appearances at AA. At AA, he showed us that he is one of the best hitting prospects in the game, hitting for power and improving his walk rate.

On June 13th, the Red Sox promoted him from AA Portland to AAA Pawtucket. There he played shortstop and third base, improving his chances for a late season call up. At Pawtucket, Bogaerts continued to impress at the plate, hitting .284-.369-.453 with 9 HRs, 32 runs, 32 RBI and 2 stolen bases in 256 plate appearances.

Once he was called up to the big league club, I expected him to play every day, but that was not to be. He played in just 18 games, getting 50 plate appearances, and hitting "just" .250-.320-.364 with a HR, 7 runs and 5 RBI. Not what you would expect from one of the top hitting prospects in the game, but how does one get his feet wet and in a groove getting 50 plate appearances over the last month and a half of the season?

It appears Bogaerts was just biding his time till he got his opportunity, and he is showing us what we can expect in the future with his play in the playoffs and World Series. Last night, he went 2-4 with a triple, run scored and an RBI, with the RBI tying the game at 4 in the 8th inning. In the playoffs and World Series, he is 5-16 with 8 runs scored, 2 RBI, with 5 walks and 5 strikeouts and a triple slash line of .313-.455-.625.

In my early 2014 shortstop rankings, I have him ranked as my #5 fantasy shortstop behind Hanley Ramirez, Troy Tulowitzki, Ian Desmond and Jose Reyes.

Let's hear your thoughts on Bogaerts and what are your expectations for him in 2014?

For more on Bogaerts and the crazy ending to game 3 of the 2013 World Series, make sure you check out Over the Monster and Viva el Birdos, SB Natipn's Red Sox and Cardinals fan site.

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