Jose Iglesias was supposed to be the starting shortstop in 2013, but the plans have changed for the better for the young Boston Red Sox prospect.
With the signing of Stephen Drew, the Red Sox now have another year until Iglesias needs to play full-time at the Major League level. Yes, the Red Sox had to pay the 30-year-old $10 million for that one-year contract, but it will ultimately help this squad in the long run.
Iglesias will now have the chance to get his feet wet with even more playing time in Triple-A before moving on up to the big league club. This means he may have some competition for the job with Xander Bogaerts waiting in the wings.
Yes, Bogaerts may be moved to the outfield before his jump to the majors, but that decision has yet to be made and he is still at short for the time being.
The signing of Drew apparently "upset" Iglesias, according to Dustin Pedroia, who was on WEEI's Red Sox Hot Stove Thursday night, WEEI's Alex Speier reports.
"After [Iglesias] left [the workouts in Arizona], a couple days later, we signed Stephen. He was upset. But I basically told him, from my situation, I felt like I was ready in 2006 to start the season in Boston, play second base and go play. But we ended up signing Mark Loretta. It ended up being a great thing for me. I went to Triple-A, I played, I started out slow and struggled at the beginning and I overcame my start. I ended up having a great year. That helped me for the next year in 2007, when I really, really struggled, I’d been through it before. I’d been through tough times. I knew how to overcome tough times and how to do what to do to get me back on track." - Dustin Pedroia, Red Sox Hot Stove show, December 27, 2012
Pedroia showed his veteran prowess by relating to the young shortstop's problem with his own back in 2006, when the Red Sox signed Mark Loretta.
After working out with Pedroia, Iglesias is bound to take advice from him whenever he can. This type of advice will lead to the youngster wanting to earn the right to play with the Red Sox and if Pedroia can do it, then maybe he can too.
Iglesias will likely stay in the minors until the 2014 season, but an injury could lead to his call up during the season. The 22-year-old will need to show his worth in spring training and that is exactly what the Red Sox need to increase their chances of making a playoff run.
Iglesias already has the glove to play with the Red Sox, but his bat will need to improve drastically. The Drew signing will be that push in the right direction to motivate the young prospect to improve in that area.