With a 4-1 defeat last night at the hands of the Dominican Republic, the Netherlands were bounced from the World Baseball Classic. For Red Sox fans, that means that prized prospect and Dutch citizen Xander Bogaerts will return to spring training for the duration of March.
The first order of business will be determining which spring camp Bogaerts will be heading to. He finished last season playing for Portland and will likely begin there this season, however, according to Sean McAdam of CSNNE; John Farrell would like to see Bogaerts get some at bats with the big league club in Fort Myers. There are still plenty of players in the Sox camp who will not be on the opening day roster, so it makes sense to add Bogaerts to the group even if he is not competing for a spot.
However the timing might be perfect for the 20-year-old infielder. Projected everyday shortstop Stephen Drew has recently been ruled out of playing on opening day because of concussion like symptoms, and shortstop of the future Jose Iglesias has had a lackluster spring at the plate (batting just .220). Bogaerts played 3B for the Netherlands in the WBC, but Farrell thinks, “He’s still, in our eyes, a shortstop.”
If Bogaerts can enter camp and string together a few good games at the position, he could play himself into a big role in this organization very early in the 2013 campaign.