Shortstop Xander Bogaerts, the Red Sox's No. 1 prospect, has made quick work of Double-A. Just two months into the season, Bogaerts was promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket on Thursday.
Bogaerts is ranked as the No. 19 prospect in baseball by MLB.com and has lived up to the hype so far this year. He hit .311 with a .909 OPS in 56 games at Double-A Portland, and since the calendar turned to June, he has been even better. Bogaerts has batted .424 with a .548 on-base percentage this month.
Bogaerts became the youngest position player in Pawtucket history when he debuted Thursday night against Buffalo. But being one of the youngest players is nothing new to Bogaerts. He has raced through the Minor Leagues since the Red Sox signed him out of Aruba in 2009, when he was 16.
"This looks to be a pretty special player," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "He's well ahead of the age curve, being at Triple-A at 20."
Bogaerts' age hasn't slowed him down so far this season. He had been the youngest position player in the Eastern League. Even so, he ranks in the top 10 in the league in batting average, OPS, triples and walks.
"He's got a lot going for him," said Farrell. "He is going to get some work at other positions as well, not just at shortstop, which would fall right in line with every other young infielder that we've recently brought there. He's going to play shortstop, at least for the first week to 10 days there, but then we'll look to get him some work at second and third to get him further exposure to other parts.
"In the situation he's in, if we had some unforeseen things take place here through injury, and yet he's the best bat available, we want to be sure that we've at least exposed him to other positions so we wouldn't have a hesitation to move him into another spot."
Bogaerts also played for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic this spring. In deference to Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons, Bogaerts played third base in the event.