Boston Red Sox GM Ben Cherington and his staff weren’t busy Wednesday making moves to improve their current roster, but they were preparing themselves for the future as they decided who to send to the Arizona Fall League.
Boston has decided to send outfielder Bryce Brentz and pitchers Brock Huntzinger, Chris Martin and Pete Ruiz to the AFL in just a few weeks, according to Peter Abraham of The Boston Globe.
#RedSox sending OF Bryce Brentz, RHPs Brock Huntzinger, Chris Martin and Pete Ruiz to Ariz. Fall League. Catcher + infielder TBA— Pete Abraham (@PeteAbe) August 29, 2012
As you can see, Boston will also be sending a catcher and an infielder—but those players have yet to be determined. I’ll help Cherington out with the infielder selection as it should easily be Boston’s top prospect, Xander Bogaerts.
Bogaerts is having an incredible season in the Boston minor league system—and he’s only 19 years old.
Bogaerts started the season in Single-A Salem and absolutely crushed the opposition. In 104 games, he hit .302/.378/.505 with 45 extra-base hits (15 home runs), 59 runs and 64 RBI. Those numbers made the decision to promote him to Double-A Portland mid-season even easier.
With the Sea Dogs, Bogaerts has only appeared in 18 games, but has been showing off how much potential he has. In 73 at-bats he has hit five home runs, scored 11 times and driven in 13 runs. He already has 43 total bases, which averages out to more than two per game.
Bogaerts was one of Boston’s two representatives for the Futures Game back in July—Matt Barnes was the other. If the Red Sox want to get Bogaerts on the fast track to the major leagues—which they should—they need to choose him to play in the fall.
Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus tweets just how much of an offensive affair the Arizona Fall League truly is, an even better reason for put Bogaerts among the potential future All-Stars.
By sending Bogaerts to the AFL Boston would be putting him a position to succeed. He would be facing good, yet hittable pitching, and would be able to continue playing on a daily basis.
Whether Bogaerts would be playing shortstop in the AFL or another position is irrelevant for now, as long as he’s on the roster and in the lineup. A successful AFL campaign could get him promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket during the middle of 2013 and then possibly called up to the big leagues by the end of the year or definitely by the start of 2014.
The first step to ensuring that Bogaerts turns into the star we all want and need him to be is to make him one of the Red Sox representatives in the Arizona Fall League.