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The hype train for Xander Bogaerts was temporarily halted on Monday night when John Farrell’s lineup did not include the 20-year-old shortstop. Perhaps the manager wanted to let the kid get his bearings by spending the night in a big league dugout, but there’s no doubt that once Bogaerts gets penciled into the lineup, plenty of Red Sox fans will be giddy to see him play.
To try to put Bogaerts’ call-up into perspective, Adam Jones welcomed Chris Hatfield from SoxProspects.com to the show. He said the excitement surround Bogaerts is certainly warranted.
“The fact of the matter is that Bogaerts is the most exciting player they’ve had in the system, period, since at least Hanley Ramirez, if not going past that to the likes of Nomar Garciaparra and so forth,” Hatfield said. “He’s a consensus top-five prospect in baseball right now, and seen by some as the top hitting prospect in the game.”
Hatfield said that Bogaerts projects to be a perennial MVP candidate, but for now, he should be able to provide the Red Sox with a capable bat against left-handers, which Stephen Drew has not been able to provide.
As for other prospects who could come up in September and impact the playoff race, Hatfield said Jackie Bradley Jr. should be that guy. Regardless of how well he hits, his defense alone should be at a Gold Glove level.
“I think Jackie Bradley’s going to come up on Sept. 1, I think we’re going to see him late in games,” Hatfield said. “I can see him getting starts in right field to get [Shane] Victorino ready for the playoffs, I could see him getting starts in left, giving the team an outstanding defensive outfield with Bradley, [Jacoby] Ellsbury and Victorino. Nothing’s going to fall in that outfield. I think he’s a guy that could come up and really affect things down the stretch.”