We all know Xander Bogaerts is one of the top prospects around, coming in second behind Byron Buxton on almost every off-season ranking. His time as a prospect is at its end with the 2014 season approaching, however, so it's time to move on to the next question: where does he rank among all young players? Baseball America has one version of that answer in their top 50 players age 25 and under list, where Bogaerts comes in at no. 12.
As much as we love X around these parts, the 12th spot is still incredibly high for him. Not to say he doesn't deserve it: it's more that seeing it there, with the names surrounding his, is a bit surreal. The article is behind Baseball America's subscriber wall, so I don't want to give the whole thing away, but Bogaerts ranks immediately behind the Marlins' Giancarlo Stanton, the Dodgers' Yasiel Puig, and the Braves' Freddie Freeman, and directly ahead of the Rays' Wil Myers, the Rangers' Jurickson Profar, and the Pirates' Gerrit Cole. That's a significant chunk of the present and future of the game, and it's thrilling to see Bogaerts sandwiched among them.
His ranking should tell you how much Bogaerts' 2013 campaign, split between Double- and Triple-A with a finish at the majors and in the postseason, impressed scouts and prospect analysts. He's got a lofty baseball IQ, and adjusts quickly to the point where it's almost unfathomable that he would struggle for very long in the majors in his first full season there. He might not look like the 12th-best 25 and under player to start the year, but by the end of 2014, Baseball America could look pretty smart here.
Okay, fine, one more: Mike Trout is first. You needed me to tell you that, obviously.