1. Xander Bogaerts (SS/3B)
Red Sox Nation has been on Xander Bogaerts since he was signed for $410,000 out of Aruba in the year of Trout (2009). He brings an electric bat with plus-plus future raw power while continuing to defy the odds and staying at shortstop.
While generously listed at 175 pounds, Bogaerts is a big boy with a strong aggressive swing. It’s a compact swing with a lot of torque that he generates out of his lower half to hit the ball a long way. While I try to act cool when I’m at games or taking in batting practice, I have uttered the words “WOW” three times this year when watching a game and one of those came watching Xander Bogaerts take batting practice. The physical power and mechanics work well together and the ball just explodes off his bat.
While I like the swing mechanics, Bogaerts is ultra-aggressive at the plate. His 9% walk rate does not tell the true story as he walked once in 92 at-bats after being promoted to Double-A. From all reports, Bogaerts has great make-up and works hard, so I’m hopeful that over time he will learn to make the necessary adjustments and become better disciplined at the plate.
The position that Bogaerts will ultimately play has been aggressively debated for the past two years. He’s actually an average defender at shortstop, but based on his size, it doesn’t seem possible that he will stay there permanently. However, if the Red Sox wanted to move him, the ideal time would have been this fall during the Arizona Fall League. Since that did not happen, you have to assume that the Red Sox continue to believe he’s a shortstop for the foreseeable future.
Fantasy Impact: A shortstop with 30 home run potential, hitting in the middle of the lineup with the Boston Red Sox, could return first round value. While I don’t think he’ll hit for an elite average, I do believe a 270-plus batting average is possible, particularly if he can develop some plate discipline. You should consider Bogaerts a top 30 prospect talent and draft aggressively.
2. Jackie Bradley (OF)
3. Allen Webster (RHP)
4. Matt Barnes (RHP)
5. Garin Cecchini (3B)
6. Henry Owens (LHP)
7. Deven Marrero (SS)
8. Bryce Brentz (OF)
9. Brandon Jacobs (OF)
10. Jose Iglesias (SS)