9. Xander Bogaerts, SS, Boston Red Sox
Bogaerts can bring it
Beantown signed Bogaerts as a non-drafted free agent in August of 2009. The 20-year-old hit only three home runs in 63 games with the Rookie-level team in 2010 but jumped up to 16 jacks in 2011 with Single-A Greenville (72 games). At High Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland last year, Bogaerts clubbed 20 homers, drove in 81 runs and hit .307 in 532 at-bats. He's playing for the Netherlands in the World Baseball Classic.
At 6-foot-3, 175 pounds, Bogaerts is a tall and athletic specimen that features surprising pop for his lanky build. It's scary to envision the kind of power numbers he could put up at the next level if he continues to grow and improve on his plate patience like he did last season. He has elite bat speed and strong, explosive hands that make the ball jump off the bat. He's overly aggressive at times, and he has struggled with offspeed offerings, but his impressive maturity may counteract that in the long run. He's only a slightly above-average defender at the 6, and his foot speed is also merely average.
Bogaerts' future probably isn't at shortstop in the big leagues, and as his body fills out, he'll likely become a defensive liability there. Third base or left field is more realistic in the long term. However, with Stephen Drew around on a one-year deal, Bogaerts could make his debut in 2014 at shortstop if Jose Iglesias continues to struggle with the stick. What's more concrete: Bogaerts is a 30-home run threat when he eventually makes it to Boston, and he'll have batting average upside with improved plate discipline and pitch recognition.
On to No. 10
Top fantasy baseball prospects - AL 1-5 | 6-10 | 11-15 | 16-20 | 21-25
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About Keith Hernandez
Keith, an editor with KFFL, joined the team as a Hot off the Wire analyst in 2008 and has been playing fantasy sports since 2005. He is involved in MLB, NFL and NASCAR content. He graduated from the University of California-San Diego in 2005 with a B.A. in Communications and was a four-year starter as a member of the baseball program.
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