IL notes: Bogaerts fitting right in

Shortstop prospect focusing on defense since promotion

By John Wagner / Special to | July 22, 2013 6:00 AM ET

It only took 56 games this season for Xander Bogaerts to prove he had mastered Double-A baseball.

So he was promoted to Pawtucket in mid-June. And while Bogaerts has had his moments since then, the 20-year-old is clearly on a fast track to Boston.

What's been the biggest adjustment for Bogaerts, who's hit .250 with seven homers and 21 RBIs in 32 games with Pawtucket?

"I have to be a little more patient here," he said. "But I'm just trying to be the same player I was in Double-A."

The first thing that struck Pawtucket manager Gary DiSarcina when the young Aruba native joined his team was that Bogaerts "wasn't afraid."

"I was around Mike Trout the past couple of years and it doesn't amaze me what these 20-year-old kids can do these days," DiSarcina said. "He fits right in with this team and he plays with a lot of energy.

"He's still learning the game, especially some of the intricacies of the position. He needs to do things better."

Bogaerts said the focus of his time with the PawSox has been defense, not offense.

"[I'm trying to be] more consistent defensively," he added. "Defense is what I'm working on the most. I have [DiSarcina], who was a shortstop in the big leagues, and that makes it easier. I take all the advice I get from him -- it's special to have someone who played my position as a manager."

DiSarcina likes the work habits of the shortstop prospect.

"He retains information and he applies it," DiSarcina said. "You can tell he's a quick learner and he doesn't want to make the same mistake twice. He is driven by that. He wants to be successful."

DiSarcina has seen offensive improvement from Bogaerts, who's lifted his .242 average in June to .269 in his first 15 games.this month.

"Offensively, he's making adjustments," said DiSarcina, who spent 12 years in the Majors with the Angels. "For the first time, he's seeing 2-0 curveballs, 3-1 changeups, instead of the power arms that come at you in Double-A."

Bogaerts said the move up to Triple-A presented a bit of a challenge offensively.

"There is a lot of movement in the pitches, not as many straight fastballs, more cutters and sinkers and pitches that move a lot," he said. "And pitchers locate their pitches better. The more at-bats I get here, the better I'll understand what pitchers are trying to do to me."

DiSarcina said Bogaerts' contributions include meshing with the chemistry of the first-place Red Sox.

"He's a joy to be around," the manager said. "At this level, you're used to having older guys, so to have someone that young is a breath of fresh air. He's been a great addition to our clubhouse."

In brief

Dorn catching up: Toledo 1B-OF Danny Dorn had 10 RBIs in 23 games in April but has become one of the IL's top run producers since then. He had 23 RBIs in 28 games in May (tied for fourth-best in the league), then drove in 24 runs in 29 games in June (tied for third). In his first 15 games this month, Dorn has 11 RBIs and ranks third in the league with 68 for the season.

Going wild: While two division races have turned into runaways, there is a good one in the North Division and a great one for the Wild Card spot in the Governors' Cup playoffs. In the IL North, Pawtucket begins the week five games in front of Rochester, 5 1/2 ahead of Buffalo, 6 1/2 games in front of Lehigh Valley and seven ahead of Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Norfolk leads a very tight Wild Card race by one game over Rochester and 1 1/2 over Buffalo. In fact, six teams are within four games of the Tides.

He said it: "I call my agent and said I need an outfielder glove, and he say, 'What?' I told him I need it because I'm playing center field and the glove I use at second base is too small." -- IronPigs IF-OF Cesar Hernandez to The (Allentown) Morning Call. Hernandez, a native of Venezuela who had played only second base since coming to the United States in 2009, is getting time in the outfield for Lehigh Valley.

He said it, part 2: "I need to be a little more patient here in Triple-A. In Double-A, I could throw it anywhere and they would swing a lot. But here, it's a higher level. They'll take it." -- RailRiders RHP Jose Ramirez to the Scranton Times. He's 1-2 with a 4.24 ERA and 23 strikeouts over 23 1/3 innings in six starts for Scranton/Wilkes-Barre. Ramirez also has issued 18 walks and hit three batters.

John Wagner is a contributor to This story was not subject to the approval of the National Association of Professional Baseball Leagues or its clubs.

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