EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

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July 13, 2013

Bogaerts could make impact in Boston this year

Dodgers rookie Yasiel Puig has been the talk of the baseball world.

Everyone debated whether the 22-year-old Puig (8 homers, 19 RBIs, .397 average) should be an All-Star despite only being in the majors since June 3.

The real question everyone should be asking is why was he called up at such a young age and despite having played just 63 minor league games and none at Triple-A?

“Had we had outfield room at the end of spring training he may have made the club,” Dodgers GM Ned Colletti told The Eagle-Tribune. “Young players need repetition and they need to play. Puig needed to play and when our outfield ended up with a couple of injuries to Carl (Crawford) and Matt (Kemp), we knew he would get a chance to play.

“Beyond that, it’s balancing the inexperience factor and providing experience and being patient through some rough areas. Talent will always do well, sometimes right away and sometimes through overcoming failure by adjustments. The best players in any sport are always adjusting.”

Bogaerts vs. Puig

That brings us to the debate over Boston’s Xander Bogaerts, a 20-year-old who Baseball America just ranked the fourth best prospect in professional baseball.

Bogaerts, who was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket in June, has played 347 minor league games.

The right-handed, power-hitting shortstop entered yesterday batting .296 with a .372 on-base percentage in four minor league seasons.

He also entered yesterday with 7 homers, 19 RBIs, a .267 batting average and .357 OBP in his first 28 games with Pawtucket.

He started slowly in Triple-A but made the adjustments and has done especially well recently.

He will play in the All-Star Futures Game tomorrow.

Bogaerts vs. Middlebrooks

The Red Sox could use an additional right-handed power bat in the lineup. Boston is more likely to fill this void internally rather than through a trade. The first option likely is third baseman Will Middlebrooks, who was demoted to Pawtucket after a prolonged sophomore slump in Boston.

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