FORT MYERS, Fla. — Jose Iglesias is a middle man. He is the middle of the diamond at shortstop and in the middle of nowhere in the Red Sox’ plans.
He is not the Red Sox Shortstop of the Present. That is Stephen Drew, signed to a one-year, $9.5 million deal. He is no longer the Red Sox Shortstop of the Future. That’s uberprospect Xander Bogaerts.
All Iglesias can do is keep putting the barrel of his bat on the middle of the baseball, as he has this spring training, and end up changing the impression of his game.
The 23-year-old Cuban defector, now in his fourth big league camp, is as deft a defensive shortstop as you’re going to find. He turns infield practice into performance art. The problem is that the Red Sox’ preferred medium of expression at shortstop isn’t leather, it’s wood.
The Red Sox are obsessed with offensive shortstops. Iglesias has hit just .135 in 35 major league games, including a .118 clip last year in 25 games.
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