Recognizing his incredible potential, Boston added Iglesias to the 40-man roster again this season and gave him the chance to compete for the starting role in 2012.
"It was a fun moment," Iglesias said regarding the offseason competition. "Getting the opportunity to be there with this organization was fun and I enjoyed this Spring Training. We got a new park, a new manager, and it was just really fun to be there."
"Things happen for a reason and when he's ready I'm sure he'll play up there," manager Arnie Beyeler said when asked about what it meant for Mike Aviles to get the shortstop job over Iglesias. "Mike [Aviles] is doing a great job, he's an experienced big league player and there's a reason he's up there and there's a reason Iggy's down here.
"He's got some things to work on and we want to make it so that when he gets up there he has an opportunity to stay, not bounce back and forth."
Although Iglesias did not win the job for 2012, it is clear that the Havana, Cuba native will make his way to the majors eventually. He has repeatedly been named the top defensive infielder in the Boston system and was named the best defensive shortstop in the International League in 2011.
Where Iglesias has been criticized in the past, though, is his hitting. In 101 games with Pawtucket in 2011, the righty batted just .235, hitting one home run and driving in thirty-one.
"He's been doing a great job working on backing up the ball and letting it come to him," Beyeler said about Iglesias' progress at the plate this year. "He's put some good at-bats together and is getting good counts and has done a real nice job this year. He's playing the game, moving runners, and doing whatever he needs to do and his numbers have shown that."
Through 42 games this season, Iglesias has shown improvement in his offensive numbers over last year's. He is hitting .269 with one homerun and 14 RBI's.
"The team has been playing really well and, for myself, I feel very comfortable," the shortstop said about how the 2012 season has gone so far. "I think the best hitting coach is yourself. At the end of the day, I go to the plate and try to make adjustments. I'm trying to focus on moving the runners and trying to help the team in any way that I can. I think I've been doing well [at that]."
Standing at 5-foot-11 and weighing 185 pounds, Iglesias is not built for power. Typically batting in the number two slot, the righty's goal is to hit for average while also moving runners into scoring position and driving them in whenever possible.
One improved stat that exemplifies Iglesias' desire to help the team in any way possible is his stolen bases. In his 101 games in 2011, Iglesias stole a total of 12 bases. Through just 42 games in 2012, he has already stolen eight. Iglesias' improved batting average and stolen bases show that he is fine-tuning his game as he prepares for a future in the majors.
"[Iglesias] still has some at-bats he needs to get down here," Beyeler said regarding the impressive prospect's road to the majors. "He hasn't had a lot of [chances at the plate] being a young player. He just needs more experience.
"He needs to play and get reps both in the field and at the plate. The longer he can stay in Triple-A, the better big leaguer he'll be because he needs to get those at-bats underneath him and get the experience and that's a tough thing to do at the major league level."
With Mike Aviles performing well in Boston so far this season and Iglesias being just twenty-one years old, there doesn't seem to be any rush to get the prospective shortstop into the majors.
Like Beyeler said, it's best for him to gain the necessary experience in Triple-A before regularly playing in the majors. With the excitement surrounding Iglesias as a prospect, it is clear that he will play in the majors if he stays healthy and continues to positively refine his game.
PAWTUCKET, RI - At just 21 years old, shortstop Jose Iglesias is already entering his third professional baseball season in the States. After just one minor league season, Iglesias made his major league debut on May 8, 2011 becoming the youngest position player to start a game for Boston since 1980.
Iglesias Refining His Game
Jose Iglesias is back in the minors again this year to fine-tune his offensive game.
Pawtucket Beat Writer
Iglesias is hitting .333 over his last ten games
May 29, 2012