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We all know of the revolving door at SS for the Boston Red Sox, ever since Nomar Garciaparra was dealt back in 2004. However, the streak of plug-in shortstops may be coming to a close in the near future.
Twenty-four shortstops have started for the Red Sox since Nomar Garciaparra was sent to the Cubs in a three-team deal at the trading deadline of 2004. Julio Lugo tops the list with 245 starts, followed by Marco Scutaro’s 233, Edgar Renteria’s 153, Alex Gonzalez’s 150, Jed Lowrie’s 130, and Mike Aviles’s 129.
Drew will be No. 25 this year. But after that, Boston will have permanent shortstop options for the first time in years.
The biggest hope is the Aruban, Bogaerts, who consistently makes the top 100 prospects lists of those who compile such things. At age 20, he is already 6 feet 3 inches and 210 pounds. And the hype surrounding him has been uncomfortable at times.
The Red Sox starting SS in 2013 will be Stephen Drew. Three others in Jose Iglesias, Pedro Ciriaco, and Deven Marrero will compete for the backup job, with Xander Bogaerts being groomed in the minors.
Am I the only one who thinks the Drew signing went under the radar? Before his greusome injury on a collision at home plate in 2011, Drew was a solid ballplayer. He's not like his brother J.D., who has to take a day off when he stubs his toe.
Keep in mind, Drew was one of the vocal points in a horrendous Arizona Diamondbacks lineup. Now with the Red Sox, he's a complimentary piece. I think he could use that to his benefit and ease some pressure. Drew is going to surprise some people this year.
Iglesias should win out the backup SS job, even if he goes 0-35 at the plate in Spring Training. That's how amazing his glove his. I think the 23-year-old will here for a few years as a solid utility/defensive wizard. Don't expect his bat to drastically improve and compete for the starting job at any point in his career. He just doesn't have it.
Ciriaco and Marrero ultimately become trade chips. If another teams suffers an injury during Spring Training or simply has question marks for their backup SS, look for the Sox to dangle these two.
As for the future of the Red Sox SS, this very well could be the final year of the "stop-gap years". The highly touted Bogaerts is being compared to Hanley Ramirez, without the crap attitude. Unless he struggles in the minors this year, the 20-year-old could very well be your starting SS in 2014, adding to the new young core in Cherington's plan.