Full disclosure, I didn’t actually get a chance to watch any of this game. MLB Network decided to broadcast the Japan/Brazil game instead and not even in the dark depths of the Internet could I find a quality Netherlands vs. South Korea stream. Who would have thought? However, I still followed along with the MLB.com box score… at 6:30 in the morning… on a Saturday… I think I need the season to start.
Anyway, a couple quick notes on Sox prospect Xander Bogaerts. He got the start for the Netherlands playing third base and batting sixth. In all Red Sox publications, Bogaerts is listed as a shortstop, however he is still at the point in his career where he can be tried out at multiple positions. In the field he didn’t disappoint. He had several put-aways from the hot corner highlighted by an impressive leaping field and throw that started a crucial double play in the sixth inning. Check out the play here: http://mlb.mlb.com/wbc/2013/video/?content_id=25648301&query=game_pk%3D361259
From the plate, Bogaerts went 0-2 with a walk, however that stat isn’t telling of the impact he truly had. In the second inning, he dropped down a sacrifice bunt to move Andruw Jones over from 2nd to 3rd base. Jones would later score the first run of the game on a sacrifice fly by the next batter. This run proved to be the difference between the teams as the Netherlands shutout Korea.
Overall, it was a notable debut for a future member of the local nine. The Netherlands return to action tomorrow against group favorite Chinese Taipei at 1:30 am. I’m interested to see how Xander reacts to this bigger stage.