JUPITER, Fla. -- Xander Bogaerts felt he'd run into some bad luck early in the Grapefruit League season, seeing hard-hit balls turn into outs. He had no such problem in his third and final plate appearance of Wednesday's 8-6 loss to the Cardinals.
Bogaerts walloped a pitch from right-hander Angel Castro way over the left-field wall at Roger Dean Stadium, good for his first home run of the spring.
"I hit a lot of line drives at people, so it's good to get one where nobody's at," Bogaerts said.
The 21-year-old got the start at shortstop and struck out in his first at-bat, but then drew a walk before going deep in the sixth inning. That made him 3-for-9 this spring.
"It's been good so far," Bogaerts said of his swing. "Camp is early. I had a timing issue at the beginning, I made an adjustment to let the ball travel. I was going to get the ball instead of letting it come to me. I felt good."
Set for an everyday role after making an impact late last season and in the playoffs, Bogaerts has impressed manager John Farrell.
"Xander's swung the bat really well in Spring Training," Farrell said. "Even the other day, a couple hard lineouts. He looks very comfortable at the plate. He's an exciting young player, and we're going to need production out of him to accomplish what we set out to do as a team."