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Prospect rankings primer
The Top Ten
1. Xander Bogaerts
Height/Weight: 6’3’’ 175 lbs.
Drafted/Acquired: International free agent, 2009, Aruba
2012 Stats: .302/.378/.505 at High-A Salem (104 games); .326/.351/.598 at Double-A Portland (23 games)
The Tools: 6+ hit; 6+ power potential; 6 arm
What Happened in 2012: You mean, besides hitting for power and average in the Carolina League before moving up to Double-A as a teenager and continuing the offensive onslaught by ripping 15 extra-base hits in only 23 games?
Strengths: Simple, fluid swing mechanics; very natural barrel-to-ball relationship; projects to hit for both plus power and batting average; shows plus-plus bat speed; shows ability to drive the ball all over the park; can square velocity; arm is plus; plays game with feel and instincts; solid glove; could have above-average defensive profile at third base.
Weaknesses: Aggressive in the box; soft and spinning can get him off-balance; will need to expand pitch appetite (fastball eyes); exaggerated swing plane limits stay in the zone; good athlete, but lacks plus speed; physical maturation process could leave speed below-average; limited range at shortstop; fielding actions can be stiff; not ideal profile for middle-of-the-diamond.
Overall Future Potential: 7; all-star
Explanation of Risk: High risk; excellent makeup, but lofty ceiling; still lots of developmental space between present/future.
Fantasy Future: At his peak, Bogaerts could approach a .300 average and 30-plus bombs a year; bat will play anywhere on the diamond, but most likely will find a home at third base.
The Year Ahead: It’s hard to imagine Bogaerts taking another step forward in 2013, but it’s entirely possible. His swing is full of grace, and the power that flows from the hit tool could make him a very special player if everything goes according to plan. He still needs refinement in all phases of the game, and an extended stay in Double-A could expose some of the weaknesses in his offensive approach. While its possible that he remains at shortstop going forward, his defensive profile isn’t ideal at the position at the highest level, and as the 6’3’’ 175-lb. 20-year-old continues to grow into his body, his average-at-best speed will tick down and his range at the position will prove to be inadequate. Regardless, his bat has middle-of-the-order potential, and could make him an all-star if he reaches his ceiling.
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