2014 Red Sox top prospect voting #19: Remember Jose Iglesias

Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

It's not all about the bat.

.252/.338/.317 is one ugly slash line. Nobody wants to see that on their team, excepting NL pitchers for whom every hit is a small miracle. Unfortunately, those are the offensive numbers of one Deven Marrero, Boston's first pick in 2012 and our no. 18 prospect.

For many players, that sort of offensive performance as a 23-year-old in Salem and Portland would basically be the end. No, the Red Sox won't be rushing to release them, necessarily, but they will certainly be written off by most observers, and might well find themselves beaten out for promotions or even playing time if the system is crowded enough.

So what makes Deven Marrero an exception? His position. Simply put, any true shortstop these days is worth paying attention to, on some level, and Marrero is certainly one of those.

I've invoked the name of Jose Iglesias, and that's probably unfair to both Marrero and Iglesias. After all, Iglesias is a wizard, and Marrero is a mere mortal, albeit one that is quite good at defense. It's not reasonable to demand Iglesias-level defense from Marrero, and frankly he doesn't need to provide it to be useful to a major league team. We're living in a world, after all, where 11 different shortstops cost their team half a win compared to what a replacement player might provide (based on fWAR), and if Marrero is bad with the bat, he at least seems capable of taking pitches unlike so many other shortstops.

That small talent will not avail him as well in the majors as it has in the minors. If he wants to have any hope of being more than that utility infielder/defensive replacement type, Marrero will have to be able to punish pitchers who throw strikes even if it's just with slap singles and doubles. But one way or another there's a place in the majors for anyone with a pulse and the ability to play shortstop like they were meant to.

  1. Xander Bogaerts, SS
  2. Jackie Bradley Jr., CF
  3. Garin Cecchini, 3B
  4. Henry Owens, LHP
  5. Matt Barnes, RHP
  6. Blake Swihart, C
  7. Allen Webster, RHP
  8. Brandon Workman, RHP
  9. Mookie Betts, 2B
  10. Trey Ball, LHP
  11. Anthony Ranaudo, RHP
  12. Christian Vazquez, C
  13. Manuel Margot, OF
  14. Teddy Stankiewicz, RHP
  15. Drake Britton, LHP
  16. Brian Johnson, LHP
  17. Bryce Brentz, OF
  18. Deven Marrero, SS

By now you all know how this works: I'll name candidates in the comments below, and you rec the comment of the player you want to vote for. For those unfamiliar with how to go about that, just click "actions" underneath the comment and then "rec." Nice and easy, though you do have to be a member to join in.

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. As for rules, please stick to just the one vote. That's about it.

Vote away!

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