Saturday, January 5, 2013

A birthday wish for Jose Iglesias

Because today happens to be Jose Iglesias' twenty-third birthday, I wanted briefly to revisit yesterday's post.  Twitter user @theHooHaagroove was as skeptical as I was upon seeing Bill James 2013 projections for Mr. Iglesias:

In fact, James predicted that Iglesias will get a multitude of hits, to the tune of a .240 batting average over 139 games played.  Of course, these numbers were calculated before Stephen Drew came aboard, under the assumption that Iglesias would earn the starting shortstop job.

I want to be very, very clear about something: when you watch only the tops of innings of games Iglesias played at Fenway, and the bottoms of the innings of games on the road, Iglesias is the best shortstop the Red Sox have had in many years. His defense is practically impervious to criticism, and an absolute joy to watch.

But on the offensive side of things (and I mean "offensive" in every sense of the word), I'm with @theHooHaaGroove. We've been waiting and hoping and praying to the Baseball Gods for Jose Iglesias to find his stroke since he defected from Cuba in 2009. This season is the last on Iglesias' four year, $8.25 million contract, and the Drew signing is an obvious signal from the front office that they aren't content to rely on him to finally reach an acceptable level of output at the plate.

By all accounts, Iglesias seems like a stand-up young man, and I think I can safely say that Red Sox fans all over the world want nothing more than for him to find his stroke - if for no other reason than the ability to watch him shut down the entire left side of the infield.

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