Xander Bogaerts, Garin Cecchini enjoy strong days at All-Star Futures Game
|07.14.13 at 4:51 pm ET|
NEW YORK — A pair of Red Sox representatives put on impressive performances at the All-Star Futures Game at CitiField in New York. In what is considered the signature prospect showcase event of the year, shortstop Xander Bogaerts showed an excellent approach in going 2-for-3 with a walk. He lined a pair of singles up the middle on two-strike pitches — one off starter Noah Syndergaard, another against Bogaerts’ former Portland teammate Anthony Ranaudo — struck out on one of the most ridiculous changeups ever unleashed (by Rockies prospect Eddie Butler) and then negotiated a ninth-inning walk against Giants flamethrower Kyle Crick.
“I love walks. That makes me feel good that I know the strike zone and everything is OK,” Bogaerts explained prior to the game. “When you get walks, it means you’re focused and doing everything right. I don’t mind an 0-for-3 with a walk. It’s good.”
Bogaerts also handled his only opportunities at shortstop cleanly, while displaying some excellent baserunning instincts. He twice appeared to employ clever slides to get in safely after being beaten by throws, first on a stolen base attempt when replays suggested that — even though he was ruled out — he slid around a tag at second, and later when he scored from third on a shallow sac fly with a beautiful slide to the inner part of the plate to beat the tag of catcher Austin Hedges. The 20-year-old was the only player in the game to reach base three times.
Fellow Sox prospect Garin Cecchini likewise made a positive impression after entering the game in the fifth inning. In two plate appearances, he saw a total of just two pitches — lining a first-pitch fastball to the warning track in left-center (the opposite field) for an out, and later jumping on another first-pitch fastball with runners on first and second and rifling it into the right-field corner for an RBI double.
A third Sox prospect, Anthony Ranaudo, did not fare quite as well. Ranaudo struggled with his command (13 of 26 pitches for strikes) while recording two outs, allowing two runs on two hits (including a mammoth solo homer by Arismendy Alcantara on a 93 mph fastball) and two walks while recording a wild pitch. On a hot and humid day, Ranaudo appeared to struggle with his grip and hence his control.
Still, Ranaudo’s tough day did not impact the outcome, as the U.S. Team beat the World Team, 4-2.
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