Prospectus: Iglesias 'Ordonez 2.0'

February, 14, 2012
2/14/12
8:00
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Last year, Kevin Goldstein of Baseball Prospectus ranked Cuban shortstop Jose Iglesias 36th among the top 100 prospects in baseball. This year, Iglesias not only didn't crack Goldstein's top 100, but ranked just No. 10 among his list of Red Sox prospects. Here are a few quick hits from his analysis of Iglesias:

* Tools Profile: Drool-worthy defense.

* The Good: The rarest 80 grade in scouting is that of shortstop defense, but some scouts have put just that on Iglesias's glove. He makes every play look easy with outstanding instincts, perfect fundamentals and a plus arm, while also being capable of highlight-reel plays every night. He makes consistent contact at the plate and hits left-handers well.

* The Bad: One scout dubbed Iglesias “Rey Ordonez 2.0” due to his remarkable defense and consistently weak contact at the plate. He has almost no power and will never be a big base-stealer, so a more patient approach would help his cause.

Another shortstop, 19-year-old Xander Bogaerts of Aruba, was Goldstein's pick for top Sox prospect. Here's his report:

1. Xander Bogaerts, SS

DOB: 10/1/92

Height/Weight: 6’3/175

Bats/Throws: R/R

Drafted/Signed: Aruba, 2009

2011 Stats: .260/.324/.509 at A (72 G)

Tools Profile: Hardly one-dimensional, but it's the power that stands out.

Year in Review: Last year's Dominican Summer League star forced his way to full-season ball at 18 and put on a show with his power.

The Good: Bogaerts has easy plus-plus raw power, but what makes him special is his ability to tap into it against live pitching at such a young age. He gets his entire body into his torque-loaded swing and does not need to fully square-up a ball to get it to leave the park. He's a good athlete for a slugger with borderline average speed and a very strong arm.

The Bad: Bogaerts lacks the instincts, skills and speed to be a shortstop and is quickly growing out of the position. He has the tools to fit at third, but there are some concerns that he could grow his way into a corner outfield spot. His swing crosses the border from lofted to uppercut at times, and a high strikeout rate will likely always be a part of his game.

Ephemera: Gene Kingsale, who hit three home runs in 211 big-league games spanning 1996-2003, is the only player born in Aruba to go deep in the big leagues.

Perfect World Projection: Cleanup hitter who can compete for home run titles, just not at shortstop.

Fantasy Impact: Will hit plenty of home runs but might not hit for a high average and won't steal bases.

Path to the Big Leagues: Bogaerts was one of the youngest players in the Sally League last year, and he'll be among the youngest again as a 19-year-old in the Carolina League.

For the complete top 20 and more, click here.

Gordon Edes

Red Sox reporter, ESPNBoston.com

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