PORT CHARLOTTE, Fla. -- How good has prospect Deven Marrero been at shortstop this spring?
"Deven Marrero has looked spectacular at shortstop if you ask me," said Red Sox manager John Farrell. "Plays that he's ranged up the middle, plays he's gone deep in the hole, plays that he's gone to his backhand.
"The play that stands out to me is the one in Sarasota against Alexi Casilla, where he hits a high chopper in the shallow 5-6 hole, and it's somewhat of an acrobatic play and yet we're talking about a solid-average to above-average runner that he still throws out at first base."
Marrero was drafted by the Red Sox with the 24th overall pick out of Arizona State in 2012.
Defense will never be an issue for Marrero. His offense, however, is a work in progress.
"I don't ever want to put a number on a guy because then you feel like you're limiting him and that's the expectation and then he gets labeled, but I think he's a guy who has gap power," said Farrell. "There's been such an emphasis on his part to be a situational hitter, and you see a lot of the stroke can be inside out at times. There's gap power in there. He's still developing as a hitter."
And on cue, Marrero drilled a solo homer to left in the top of the ninth in Sunday's 8-4 loss to the Rays.
Ian Browne is a reporter for MLB.com. Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.