Boston Red Sox Shortstop Prospect Jose Iglesias Benched Because of Bad Attitude

Andrew Martin@@historianandrewCorrespondent IIIMay 9, 2013

TAMPA, FL - MARCH 20:  Shortstop Jose Iglesias #10 of the Boston Red Sox watches batting practice just before the start of the Grapefruit League Spring Training Game against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field on March 20, 2013 in Tampa, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
J. Meric/Getty Images

The Boston Red Sox have a number of highly regarded prospects in their minor league system, but it can be difficult finding room for them on the big league roster.

Some players find that hard to deal with, including shortstop Jose Iglesias, who was recently benched because of his bad attitude at Triple-A Pawtucket.

Boston signed Iglesias in the summer of 2009 for a reported $8 million. Unfortunately, he has yet to establish himself in the majors.

The 23-year-old Cuban-born prospect started this season on Boston’s roster as a replacement for Stephen Drew, who suffered a concussion during spring training.

Iglesias played well during his brief stint in Boston, collecting nine hits and an RBI in 20 at-bats over six games. However, once Drew, who signed a one-year, $9.5 million deal with the Red Sox last offseason, returned, Iglesias was sent to Pawtucket to ensure regular playing time.

The Red Sox believe Iglesias needs additional seasoning because of his lopsided skill set. While he is considered one of the most gifted defensive shortstops in the game, he also possesses one of the weakest bats.

Including his week with the Red Sox earlier this season, he has just a .202 career batting average and a .541 OPS in 41 major league games. He hasn’t been much better in the minors, posting just a .262/.631 split in 280 games since he started his professional career.

After joining Pawtucket last month, Iglesias hit .233 with three home runs and 10 RBI in 20 games. However, he has played sporadically over the past week because of his reported unhappiness with being in the minors and the subsequent way he has handled himself.

CSNNE’s Sean McAdam reports that Iglesias was initially positive about being in Pawtucket, attributing that to the presence of Red Sox veteran David Ortiz, who was on rehab stint there for six games and has previously mentored the younger player.

Since then, however, Iglesias’ attitude has deteriorated and led manager Gary DiSarcina to bench him for not running out ground balls.

McAdam also wrote that Iglesias feels he doesn't belong in the minors and has recently expressed his frustration in ranking behind Drew on the organization’s shortstop depth chart.

According to a WEEI staff report, Boston manager John Farrell explained on WEEI’s Salk & Holley radio show what he believes is going on with Iglesias:

Players’ personal goals sometimes don’t align with teams’ goals.

He handled the initial option back to Pawtucket as a pro, and he continued to get his work in. But I think as time has gone on, he’s kind of feeling like he should be in a big-league uniform. Yet, that time isn’t now.

DiSarcina explained to WEEI’s Alex Speier why it’s difficult handling Iglesias:

The way I've approached Iggy is, have a little patience with him, give him a few days to come back down to earth and realize where he is. He's not on a rehab assignment. He's on the Triple-A team to get his at-bats. He's with us. He's not like David Ortiz where he's going to be going whenever he's physically ready "I like to give him a couple days to come back down to earth, figure out what's going on…

You can say to a player, “Hey man, it's a raw deal. You're getting a raw deal. You went up there, you did what you're supposed to do and you exceeded expectations. But reality is reality. You're here now.”

Iglesias may be disappointed that he has come so far, but can’t break though to the majors. However, the way he has been handling it will only make things worse. The best thing he can do is stay quiet, seek instruction, work his butt off and earn his spot in the majors.

Poor attitude never helps in the achievement of goals, especially not for an imperfect player like Iglesias. His career is at a crossroad. How he handles the coming weeks will likely determine his future.

Statistics via Baseball-Reference