Hours before the Red Sox started their series with the Baltimore Orioles Xander Bogaerts stepped to the plate at Fenway Park for the first time yesterday. And he did so with a clear mind.


The rookie shortstop didn’t think about the high expectations hitting a pitch off the Green Monster for the first time or hearing the Fenway faithful chant his name. Bogaerts just dug in and hit the ball over and over again.

“I didn’t try to think about it too much” Bogaerts said. “I go to right field normally; that’s what I like to do. Just try to be me and not try and stress.”

It’s that type of attitude that has helped bring the 20-year-old success in his early career. Bogaerts made his major league debut last week during the Red Sox’ West Coast trip. He is the third-youngest active major leaguer behind two other phenoms Washington’s Bryce Harper and Texas’ Jurickson Profar.

Bogaerts had been in Fenway Park twice before but never on the field for batting practice like he was yesterday. And though he wasn’t in the starting lineup and didn’t enter last night’s 13-2 rout of the Orioles until he took over at third base in the ninth inning the promising prospect is ready for anything that comes his way.

“I try not to put any pressure on myself. No expectations. I just go out and play baseball” Bogaerts said. “Try to have fun every moment of it. Once I don’t have fun that’s when things start going bad so just go back and enjoy the game and be me.”

Not since the days of Hanley Ramirez has a Red Sox prospect garnered so much attention. After starting this season at Double-A Portland the shortstop has become a consensus top-five prospect in baseball.


Bogaerts hit .311 in 56 games with Portland and then .284 with nine home runs in 60 games with Triple-A Pawtucket before his promotion to the big leagues. So far he’s started two games with the Sox and appeared in two others as a pinch hitter hitting .333 (3-for-9).

He said last week was a whirlwind but exciting.

“It’s definitely a lot of differences compared to the minors. I’m really enjoying every moment of it” Bogaerts said. “Thankful that we won a few games. That made it a lot better. I’m just thankful to be here.”