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No decision yet on where Iglesias will start season

03.15.10 at 10:19 pm ET
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FORT MYERS, Fla. — While shortstop Jose Iglesias was optioned to Double A on Sunday, the Red Sox have yet to make a final decision about whether he will start the season in High-A Salem or Double-A Portland.

The 20-year-old, who signed a four-year, $8.25 million major league contract with the Sox last summer, was extremely impressive during his time in big league camp. He not only offering glimpses of his potentially spectacular defensive abilities but also performed well at the plate in collecting three hits (including a homer) in 11 at-bats for a .273/.333/545/.878 line.

At no point did he seem overwhelmed by either the setting or the level of competition that he faced. As such, it is certainly possible that he could start with the Sea Dogs — an assignment that would be aggressive for a player making his pro debut. (By way of comparison, only one Red Sox draftee ‘€” Craig Hansen ‘€” has started his pro career as high as Double A in the seven years GM Theo Epstein has run the team.)

But because of the Cuban’s limited professional experience, the Sox want to continue to evaluate Iglesias against minor league competition now that he has been optioned in order to determine what level will be best for his player development path. As such, while he has been optioned to the Double-A Sea Dogs at this time, the Sox are keeping open the possibility that the shortstop could start at a slightly lower rung of the player development ladder.

“There’s still a process that needs to take place,” farm director Mike Hazen said. “He can speed that process up by performing. If he keeps doing what he’s been doing, then he’s going to speed that process up naturally. There’s still a few things to learn. He’ll get them.”

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