Joy R. Absalon-US PRESSWIRE
It's been a rough trip through the farm system for Jose Iglesias. With only one option left to him, is this the shortstop's last chance?
We start off the second half of our list of top prospects on a very different note from every last prospect in the top-10. Looking at the list to date:
- Xander Bogaerts, SS
- Jackie Bradley, OF
- Matt Barnes, RHP
- Rubby De La Rosa, RHP
- Allen Webster, RHP
- Garin Cecchini, 3B
- Henry Owens, LHP
- Bryce Brentz, RF
- Blake Swihart, C
- Brandon Workman, RHP
...there's not exactly anyone on there whose ranking is disappointing. Sure, Swihart had a tough year, but that's largely mitigated by circumstance (first year in the system for a catcher, and his numbers got much better as the year went on), and Owens' ERA is kind of just a bad face put on a good year.
Not so for Jose Iglesias. The Cuban shortstop who signed in 2009 for some $8 million is the first real faller on the list, and it's not hard to see why: he still can't hit. Blame it on Boston's far-too-aggressive approach to moving Iglesias through the system if you want--it's hard to imagine that's not at least partially to blame--but the only reason Iglesias' poor .266/.318/.306 line at Pawtucket isn't a complete disaster is because of how terrible he was there in 2011.
Unfortunately, you throw in 77 of the worst MLB plate appearances in memory and any positives that could be taken from Pawtucket go out the window.
It must be acknowledged: at 23 years of age (and only that since January 5), Iglesias is young enough that his poor performances are at least understandable. And with a glove like Iglesias has, he doesn't need to go as far as it might seem to be a productive player for an MLB team. Really, looking at him as a prospect completely in a vacuum, Iglesias looks really good in the eleventh spot.
The problem is that the Sox don't have any more time to give him. He may be 23, which for most players would be a reasonable time to be getting their first hacks in at Triple-A, but Iglesias is about to use up his last option year. The Sox will, presumably, stash him away in the minors again for as long as they can in 2013, but he's got to take this opportunity to prove that it's time for a call-up.
In the past, we've talked about prospects having one last chance because they've fallen off, and another bad year would basically seal their reputation as mediocrities. Think Stolmy PImentel last year. This is not the case for Iglesias. He should have another full year after this one to prove himself before we give up on ever seeing even a mediocre bat from him, but as far as the Red Sox are concerned, it's now or never.
We move on to #12, hopefully with a return to good feelings.
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On the off chance I forget or otherwise leave someone out, you are free to start your own voting thread for that player. I'll even give it a rec of my own to make up for your vote.