I never liked Stephen Drew. I was not thrilled when they signed him before the 2013 season. I was not happy when they traded Jose Iglesias at the 2013 deadline and let Drew play everyday. I was beyond angry when they brought him back in mid-May.
On May 20, Ben Cherington said that Xander Bogaerts was the shortstop and they needed a full season to see what they had in the player. Fast forward one day and the Red Sox are announcing that they signed Stephen Drew to play short and Xander was going to move to third.
Boston media, which it is worth saying is owned by John Henry, owner of the Red Sox, praised the move. They said it was a spectacular move and it proved the Red Sox were serious about winning this season. Did they actually believe that Drew could single handedly turn the season around or even make a positive impact at all?
If they forced Bogaerts to third and delayed his development for somebody who could actually help the team win games and put them over the edge, it may not have been a terrible deal. However, Drew is not the player who is going to put them over the edge.
The Red Sox are delaying the development of Xander Bogaerts as a shortstop. To those who say he is more of a third baseman than a shortstop, I ask you this: how do you know? You saw him at short for all of a month and a half. To give up on a player with the upside of Bogaerts for a light hitting (at best) shortstop only a month and a half into the season is just stupid.
Xander has more value at shortstop, that is why they should have stuck with him at the position. To have a productive hitter with power at shortstop is a rarity. There are actually only two of them in the entire league and they are Troy Tulowitzki and Hanley Ramirez. Xander could be that guy. If you have a shortstop you hits like a corner infielder, you have a leg up on just about every team.
What is worse than delaying Bogaerts' development, is the fact that they are doing so in a season where they are going nowhere. If you want a player to learn a position, the best time to do that is when you are not going to win and are in a bridge year. To delay his development for a season in which you are not going to compete is foolish.
They said that Bogaerts is still the shortstop of the future. So next season when Bogaerts has to become acclimated all over again, and goes through similar struggles because he has not played short in a year, are the Sox going to go out and sign Drew again?
Bogaerts was clearly upset by the signing and news that he was moving to third. Is that affecting him at the plate? As a shortstop, he hit .296. Since moving to third base, he has hit only.133. It could very well just be a rookie slump; however, it is worth noting the serious drop off since he made the transition. It is entirely possible that the Sox have messed up yet another top prospect. Why should he trust anything they say after he was told he was the shortstop?
All of this I said prior to Drew even taking the field at Fenway in 2014. My argument has since been enhanced since Drew has made his way into the lineup. I mentioned Bogaerts stats above since Drew has been back. Drew has hit .136 so far in 2014 with two RBIs, only three walks, and has struck out in 28% of his plate appearances (19 K's in 69 plate appearances).
Drew joined the lineup on June 2nd. Since that day, the Red Sox have gone 11-18 and there is no light at the end of the tunnel; they are coming off a a four game series at home in which they got swept by the Chicago Cubs. Well, I hope it was worth it to sign Drew for $10 million, still not compete, and mess with your top prospect, and one of the best prospects in baseball. Well done, Red Sox. Well done.
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