Bogaerts off to impressive start


BOSTON -- Xander Bogaerts used the 2013 World Series to give Red Sox fans, and the baseball world, a glimpse at how special he could be.

He enters his first home opener at Fenway Park as a firmly established member of the team, and so far he may be its best. Bogaerts went 5-for-9 and drew three walks in the three-game series in Baltimore to begin the season. More impressively, he’s made it look easy.

“We know that there’s gonna be some ebb and flow to their performance over time but Xander’s gotten off to a great start and looks very confident and relaxed on the field,” manager John Farrell said Friday morning.

Of note is Bogaert’s play in the field, one of the only small question marks surrounding his game coming into the season.

“Very comfortable. I think all the work that he and [third base coach Brian Butterfield] have done early in camp to set their foundation defensively, he’s made a number of plays with very good range to his back,” Farrell said. “Last night was a pivotal play in that eighth inning where he goes to the back-hand side and cuts down that lead runner. You still marvel at a guy that’s got less than 100 major league at-bats and the way he’s going about it and the way he looks. Like I said, the talent’s there, the work ethic is there. There’s going to be some ups and downs along the way but he’s gotten out of the gate very strong.

“I think he anticipates well so he knows that when the ball is off the bat, he knows where he’s going with the throw. But it’s more the fundamental ability with some pressure on him to not rush the play and let his natural ability take over. Like I said, so far, so good.”