Bogaerts, Barnes enjoy Futures Game experience

Bogaerts, Barnes enjoy Futures Game experience

KANSAS CITY -- Growing up in Aruba, never considered a baseball hotbed, Xander Bogaerts first took a liking to Derek Jeter before settling on Hanley Ramirez as his favorite player.

Boegarts hopes his career in Boston lasts longer than that of Ramirez, who moved on to big things in Florida after making two plate appearances in a Red Sox uniform in 2005.

Bogaerts is a shortstop in the Ramirez mold, with a long, athletic body (6-foot-3, 175 pounds) and a bat that makes the same loud noises. At 19, Xander (pronounced Zander) has no desire to follow Ramirez to third base, a move he made this season with the Marlins to accommodate the arrival of Jose Reyes.


"No, no, no," Bogaerts said, shaking his head. "I don't even want to think about that. I'm a shortstop."

While it remains to be seen how long he'll stay there, it seems unlikely that the Red Sox will consider moving a talent on Bogaerts' level in a deal similar to the seven-player blockbuster that sent Ramirez to Florida and brought Josh Beckett to Boston after the 2005 season.

Batting fifth for the World Team in Sunday's SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game at Kauffman Stadium, Bogaerts was 1-for-4 in the 17-5 romp by the U.S. squad.

The game's last two outs, on two pitches, came from Red Sox prospect Matt Barnes on a pair of 95-mph fastballs that were turned into outs.

"I was only supposed to throw the last out," Barnes said. "We were joking in the bullpen that I'm going to fly to Kansas City, throw one pitch and get a groundout to the shortstop. Two pitches, two outs. Efficient.

"It was a blast. You get to meet all these guys you've read about, pitch in a beautiful park. A great day, all around."

More involved than his high Class A Salem teammate Barnes, Bogaerts got all of his action at the plate as the designated hitter with Texas' Jurickson Profar (homer, single) the starting World shortstop.

A right-handed hitter, Bogaerts lined a third-inning single in his second at-bat, against Mariners southpaw Danny Hultzen.

In the second inning against Gerrit Cole, the No. 1 overall pick by the Pirates in the 2011 First-Year Player Draft, Bogaerts struck out on a 99-mph fastball. He went down swinging again in the fifth against lefty Tyler Skaggs of the Diamondbacks, and grounded out in the eighth against 6-foot-9 Alex Meyer of the Nationals.

Bogaerts, the No. 2 rated Red Sox prospect by MLB.com behind outfielder Bryce Brentz, came to the showcase with the idea of "just having a good time, not putting pressure on myself."

He added, "We're here to have fun, get to know guys. It's a great opportunity. I've never played before this many [40,095] people before. The biggest before this was in Panama [playing for Netherlands] against Cuba in the [2011] World Cup finals. That was about 15,000 people."

A 6-foot-4, 205-pound right-hander out of Connecticut, Barnes, 22, is rated Boston's No. 4 prospect by MLB.com. He was the club's first-round pick in the 2011 Draft, signing for $1.5 million after driving UConn to its first NCAA super regional and setting a school career record with 247 strikeouts.

At Salem, bringing his mid-90s heat, Barnes is 5-2 with a 3.48 ERA in 11 starts. He has 59 strikeouts against only 13 walks in 54 1/3 innings.

Bogaerts, who is hitting .286/.364/.478 for Salem, projects as a potential 30-homer man with the kind of natural power you don't teach. He has gone deep 12 times with 48 RBIs in 81 games.

"My hitting is the best part of my game," he said. "I'm working on my defense, on my footwork. I want to be up there [in Boston] in the coming years."

The manager in Boston, Bobby Valentine, was an athletic shortstop in his youth with the Dodgers. Bogaerts hasn't met him yet, but Valentine surely is aware of the kid's upside.

"You have to keep getting better, one step at a time -- unless you're somebody like [Mike] Trout," Bogaerts said, grinning.

Lyle Spencer is a reporter for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.