FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Jose Iglesias is getting a chance to audition this spring, and everyone is watching intently.
The shortstop, who led off Monday's game against the Twins, made something happen in the top of the fourth when he dropped down a bunt single and stole second. He also walked once, struck out once and turned a nifty 6-4-3 double play with second baseman Oscar Tejeda.
"The double play was a very well executed play from both sides," said manager Bobby Valentine. "Iglesias is learning that he needs to be the sure man so that the guy at second can be the quick man. That throw was sure. It wasn't real flashy or real fast. He just got it and made the perfect throw, right at chest high, so that Oscar could turn that ball the way he did it. And you give Dustin [Pedroia] a good feed, he's going to turn it every time."
The speed in which Iglesias develops his offense will determine how quickly he makes it to Fenway Park for good. Iglesias already has all the defensive skills to play in the Major Leagues.
"I don't think that his technique is what it needs to be yet," said Valentine. "If we start adding just a little more technique, a little more rhythm, a little more something to give him the ability to recognize the pitch a little earlier so he can time it when he gets to the plate, he might be close."
Valentine has been impressed by the attitude Iglesias has displayed.
"Iglesias has been outstanding on my watch," said Valentine. "I haven't been in that cage with him," Valentine said. "I'm not totally sure what's going on there, but I know it's proper. I don't know what his aptitude is from there to the game. If step-by-step is happening there, and that's what I'm seeing in the game, I think it's very good. If it's a regression from there into the game, then the aptitude isn't what it should be."
The manager also enjoys watching Iglesias pursue popups.
"He has a special tracking device on fly balls -- unique to very few from what I've seen so far," Valentine said. "And he has a special ability to transfer the ball from the glove to the hand. That's all I've gotten to see. I don't know about specialness moving off the bat and range and game awareness and those things. He can transfer the ball from a longer distance than just about anybody I've ever seen. And he has that GPS in his mind. He can track a popup."