The Red Sox are expecting Xander Bogaerts this season to progress into a steady, everyday shortstop in the same manner young stars Andrelton Simmons (Braves) and Jean Segura (Brewers) did in 2013.
Before long, expect an exciting shortstop revolution in the majors, with Bogaerts and these four others at the position all considered among the top dozen or so prospects in baseball entering the 2014 season.
A look at some the other up-and-coming shortstops around MLB:
Javier Baez, Cubs
Ht.: 6-0, Wt.: 185
Baseball Prospectus rank: 4; Baseball America rank: 5; MLB.com rank: 7
Based solely on offense, Baez could and should be in the Cubs’ subpar lineup right now, boasting a .286/.342/.562 slash line through three minor league seasons. The issue for 2014 is twofold: incumbent shortstop Starlin Castro, coming off a disastrous season, is entering the second year of a seven-year extension, and Baez committed 44 errors in high Single A and Double A last season. That needs to improve before he has a permanent home in Chicago.
Carlos Correa, Astros
Ht.: 6-4. Wt.: 205
Baseball Prospectus rank: 5; Baseball America rank: 7; MLB.com rank: 8
Correa, the top overall pick in 2012 out of high school, is roughly the same size Alex Rodriguez was when he was drafted No. 1 in 1993. The Astros know not to get carried away, though. Correa will likely spend the bulk of the first half of the season at Double A and see if his tremendous success at Single A last year (.320/.405/.467, with just 15 errors) carries up to the next rung. By the time Correa is ready for Houston, the franchise may have turned the corner as well.
Francisco Lindor, Indians
Ht.: 5-11, Wt.: 175
Baseball Prospectus rank: 6; Baseball America rank: 13; MLB.com rank: 10
With Asdrubal Cabrera a pending free agent after the 2014 season, Cleveland could either fast-track the speedy Lindor (53 steals in minors, 74 percent success rate) by dealing Cabrera before the trade deadline, or let Lindor continue to grow at his own pace. The switch-hitter needs to improve from the right side (.237 in 2013, compared with .324 as a lefty) but you can’t argue with his pitch recognition (49 walks, 46 K’s last year) and his defense is considered big league-ready.
Addison Russell, Athletics
Ht.: 6-0, Wt.: 195
Baseball Prospectus rank: 7; Baseball America rank: 14; MLB.com rank: 12
Budget-conscious Oakland is in no rush to start the arbitration clock on its top prospect, so Russell is likely looking at a September cameo at best this year. There’s no denying his potential though, not after he piled up 56 extra-base hits, including 17 homers, at high Single A in 2013 while stealing 21 bases in 24 attempts and committing only 14 errors. Once he cuts down on his strikeouts he’ll become an even more potent table-setter with a long future in the A’s lineup.