Bogaerts, Bradley show exciting 'glimpse into the future'

Bogaerts, Bradley show exciting 'glimpse into the future'
February 21, 2013, 11:00 pm
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FORT MYERS, Fla. -- Some day, the Red Sox hope, Xander Bogaerts and Jackie Bradley Jr. will be part of the same everyday lineup.

On Thursday, they had to settle for the two playing on the same team in an exhibition win (11-1) against Boston College.

Bogaerts, a shortstop, played third base in anticipation of playing the position in the upcoming World Baseball Classic. Bradley played center field, his natural position.

Bogaerts had a double in four at-bats, while Bradley offered a double of his own -- it one-hopped the bullpen wall in right-center -- and knocked in a run.

"A little bit of a glimpse into the future," said a smiling John Farrell. "I thought (Bogaerts) played easily at third... and the one play that Bradley had (in the outfield), we were able to quickly see what everyone else has raved about. And the precision to his route and jumps was impressive."

Farrell labeled Bogaerts "an exciting young player, regardless of whether he's standing at third or short. He's a presence in the box. He makes hard contact."

"It went good," said Bogaerts of his first game experience at third. "I didn't make an error, so I'm pretty happy about that. It was a great experience."

Bogaerts had only spent two days getting work at third, and it will take for him to feel at home there.

"I'm not yet comfortable," said Bogaerts. "But it's just for the meantime, going to the WBC and then I'll be back at third here."

He's adjusting to fielding the ball with one hand and also the speed with which the balls gets to third.

"The ball comes quicker," he said. "You have to react quicker. At shortstop, you have a little more time to let the ball come to you and catch it. But I guess with more reps, you get better."

As for Bradley, he showed good hustle, reaching second base on a ball that was popped up between the plate and third base and ended up foul.

"That might have been most impressive," said Farrell. "He wasn't taking anything for granted. It's exciting to see that polish on such a young player."

"You always want to do the right things, make sure you're hustling," said Bradley. "You don't want to take any plays off, because that time you take a play off, they're going to see it. I saw (the ball) go up and I wasn't sure if it was going to (be fair) or not, but I wanted to make sure I got there."

Both players are on invites to camp and won't be around the entire spring. But while they're here, they can make the most of the experience.

"The fact that they're in here, in this environment," said Farrell, "and around the current everyday players at the big league level, but also getting familiar with us as a coaching staff -- it's invaluable time and experience that they're getting here."