In the wake of his promotion to Double-A, I figured now would be a good time to discuss this Xander Bogaerts guy who has Red Sox fans all hot and bothered. Middlebrooks is down, call up BOGAAAHHTS! To be clear: I don’t think that’ll come to pass this year, but Red Sox fans have good reason to be excited about this particular prospect. Bogaerts has huge power potential. That much was clear after he slugged 16 homers in just 296 PA a year ago in the South Atlantic League. In 2012, however, he’s worked hard to squash the one-dimensional projections, batting .302 and getting on base at a .378 clip through 100+ games at High-A. Those figures are up considerably from last year’s, meanwhile, his SLG (.505) hasn’t dipped. The more balanced production from Bogaerts surely contributed to Boston’s aggressive promotion of the 20-year-old. He’s now on track to reach Fenway at some point next year, although they’ll likely need to find a new position for him, as scouts don’t see his defensive tools cutting it in the bigs at shortstop.
Speaking of promotions, much of what follows will be updates on prospects who’re on the move to new levels. There were plenty of notables shifting around this past week. I’ll start with the big one:
Manny Machado | SS/3B, Orioles – Just two weeks ago, down in the comments section, I told a reader that there was a 0% chance of Manny Machado reaching the majors this year. I literally said zero percent. Where do I get off speaking so absolutely? I’m well aware by now that this prospect ETA business is utterly impossible to forecast. Note to self: Just say 1% next time, you dummy.
Dylan Bundy | RHP, Orioles – Baseball’s top pitching prospect was promoted to Double-A Bowie on the same day Machado was promoted to the majors from Bowie. I’m giving Bundy a 1% chance of reaching Baltimore this year.
Jorge Soler | OF, Cubs – The Cubbies promoted the highly touted Soler to their Low-A affiliate in the Midwest League. He made his full-season ball debut with Peoria on Friday, going 1-4 with 2 RBI.
Marcus Stroman | RHP, Blue Jays – It was no secret that Stroman was well equipped to push through the Blue Jays’ system quickly after being drafted two months ago. The 21-year-old flamethrower is living up to expectations, having already reached Double-A. He’s working strictly in relief, which isn’t great for his fantasy stock, but he’s positioned himself nicely for a September call-up.
Carlos Correa | SS, Astros – Houston had a busy week restructuring their minor league rosters. Included in the shuffle was 2012 No. 1 overall pick, Carlos Correa. He moves from the Gulf Coast League to the rookie-level Appalachian League.
Delino DeShields | 2B, Astros – After 83 stolen bases in the South Atlantic League, the Astros bumped DeShields up to the High-A California League. Look for him to show a little more pop in the hitter-friendly environment of Lancaster.
George Springer | OF, Astros – Springer, who’d actually been struggling over his last 15 games in the Cal League, was promoted to Double-A. Click here for a closer look at him from just a few weeks ago.
Tyler Skaggs | LHP, D’backs – Skaggs has been outstanding at Triple-A, posting a 1.70 ERA through eight outings. It’s looking more and more likely that we’ll see the lefty surface in the bigs this year, even if it’s just for a spot-start or two.
Billy Hamilton | SS, Reds – Dusty Baker acknowledged that Hamilton’s speed could be an asset to the Reds come September. As I’ve noted here before, though, the blazing fast shortstop will likely be used strictly in pinch-running situations should he get the call. By the way, Hamilton is up to 135 SB on the year, which is simply ridiculous.
Nolan Arenado | 3B, Rockies – Arenado seems to have finally gotten himself going at Double-A, batting .415/.457/.683 through his last ten. His line on the year, however, remains unimpressive: .276/.336/.415, 9 HR, 46 RBI.