It’s just the one problem, really. And it’s not even his fault.
You see, Bogaerts was the most recent “can’t miss” prospect. He was going to be a star, just you wait and see. Everyone knew it. He was untouchable for as long as I’ve heard his name. This was the one you hold on to. It didn’t matter how much was being offered, if it started with Bogaerts, the deal was off the table. He was UNTOUCHABLE. In huge capital letters.
Now, he wasn’t the first can’t miss prospect the Red Sox have had in their system. Remember Frankie Rodriguez? Nobody was good enough for him. He was a star in the making. Until his stock fell so low that he was traded for a rental of a relief pitcher. Or Lars Anderson? The Red Sox could make any trade they want, as long as they didn’t touch him. Until, of course, his stock fell so much he quietly drifted away. Or Will Middlebrooks? Have to keep him. He was going to be a 30 home run hitting first baseman for years to come.
So, every time someone suggested a player’s potential was too high to dare trade away, it was pretty easy to come up with examples of where that was not the case.
And then came Xander Bogaerts.
Thus far, at least, he has been everything people thought he could be. Everyone has been pretty pleased that he wasn’t dealt away. He was the starting shortstop in this year’s All-Star game, and looks to have that spot on lock-down for years to come.
So, now all the prospectors have renewed faith and energy. See, you can’t trade prospects! You may be trading away an all-star! They’re all untouchable.
So, when the Red Sox recently traded away a high school kid for a current all-star, people felt they had reason to complain. They can’t be trading away a future Cy Young award winner. The return is no longer important. It doesn’t matter the caliber of player they’re getting. It’s all about the potential caliber of the player they’re giving away.
Which is why this next week will be very interesting as rumors float about. Will the potential of Moncada be more valuable that the present of Sale? Or Gray?
Will people look and see that the Sox have something pretty special going on here in the present? Will they be more worried about the future?
Will they all think that can’t miss prospects really can’t miss?
Because Bogaerts didn’t miss.