One of the reasons why the Boston Red Sox have become a model franchise ever since Theo Epstein took over baseball operations in 2002 is because of his ability to create organizational depth. The Red Sox have been able mix young talent with veterans, and when those veterans get hurt for a period of time, they have been able to go into their minor-league system and call up quality talent.
The latest example of Boston’s ability to call up quality talent from its minor league system occurred on Sunday when the Red Sox called up top shortstop prospect Jose Iglesias. Iglesias will replace SS Marco Scutaro on the roster. Scutaro was placed on the 15-day DL with the ever so popular oblique injury.
The Fenway faithful and the rest of baseball will get their first look at the next defensive stud at the shortstop position. He is widely considered the best defensive SS in the minor leagues. This guy can pick it with the best of them.
Offensively, he is nowhere near where he is defensively just yet. At 21 years old, Iglesias has a lot to learn.
Iglesias has zero power and needs to learn how to work the count better. He only has 17 walks in 376 minor-league plate appearances.
The best case for Iglesias is that he becomes an Orlando Cabrera-type hitter. The worst case is that he is the next Rey Ordonez.
His role with the Red Sox will be backing up Jed Lowrie, and I would imagine he would also serve as a defensive replacement for Lowrie late in the game.
Here are some other things you should know about Jose Iglesias...
Drafted: Not drafted. Signed as an amateur free agent in 2009 out of Havana, Cuba
Minor League Stats
Keith Law Ranking and Analysis
Ranking: No. 45 out of 100 best prospects in baseball for 2011
Analysis: "Iglesias is the best defensive shortstop prospect I’ve ever seen. He’s not the fastest or most athletic, but he’s the one most able to make plays and to take difficult plays and make them look routine.
"There’s not much flash to Iglesias’ fielding; he gets in position, the ball disappears into his glove and it’s on its way to first base before your eyes have even adjusted from watching the ball on the ground. His hands and instincts are plus. He is not wide-ranging like an Ozzie Smith but will surprise with how many ground balls he reaches despite average-at-best running speed.
"Iglesias’ swing is direct with good bat speed, and he has a little pop when he gets his arms extended, although in Fenway that probably will mean lots of doubles off the Monster but few home runs. He needs to avoid barring his lead arm, and so far he hasn’t shown much patience although he has shown he can make a lot of contact. If he can draw 50 walks a year or hit .300 regularly, he’s an All-Star, and if not, he’s still an above-average regular because of the potential value of his defense."
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