Originally written on NESN.com  |  Last updated 10/30/14
Pencil him in, Red Sox fans. Jose Iglesias is your 2013 Opening Day shortstop. Manager John Farrell hasn’t specifically stated such just yet, but Iglesias’ impressive performance against the Phillies on Sunday all but solidified his status as the man for the job. How long Iglesias’ starting shortstop reign lasts is anyone’s guess. The club will likely turn to Stephen Drew as soon as the veteran is healthy enough to return to action. In the meantime, though, it’s hard to ignore the growing level of intrigue surrounding Iglesias. Iglesias’ stock plummeted last season. The 23-year-old had every opportunity to cement himself in Boston’s 2013 starting lineup, yet he sputtered down the stretch, hitting a putrid .118 (8-for-68) in 25 major league games. Rather than captivating the Red Sox with his nifty glove work, his cup of coffee with the big club instead generated concern as to whether or not he’d ever develop enough offensively to become an everyday starter in the majors — hence the Drew signing. With spring training nearing its end, though, Iglesias’ stock is rising as quickly as it dropped. We’re no longer seeing a great defender whose major league potential was limited because of his inability to hit his way out of a paper bag. Instead, we’re seeing a player who could create a very interesting shortstop situation in Boston with a hot start to the regular season. The Red Sox have 9.5 million reasons to play Drew over Iglesias when the veteran returns, and there’s little doubt that Drew is — and probably always will be — the superior offensive shortstop. Iglesias has shown vast improvement this spring, though, and it’ll be very interesting to see how the team proceeds going forward. Iglesias showed up to spring training having put on about 15 pounds, and it’s had the effect that the Red Sox were hoping for. He’s shown much more pop at the plate, and his noticeably bigger frame hasn’t impeded his excellent defensive skills one bit. Iglesias’ 3-for-3 performance on Sunday — which included a sharply hit double over center fielder Ben Revere‘s head (off Cliff Lee, no less) — brought his spring average to .273 (15-for-55). It’s not a crazy figure by any stretch, and his .298 on-base percentage is still a bit concerning, but the shortstop’s offensive development certainly passes the eyeball test. Iglesias looks more comfortable — even showing an ability to think outside the box in dropping down a bunt single on Thursday — and his increased strength is noticeable. He has seven extra-base hits this spring, which is five more than his last three spring trainings combined and four more than he had in 68 major league at-bats last season. Obviously, we shouldn’t get too wrapped up in Iglesias’  spring performance. After all, it is still spring training, and there is still plenty of room for improvement in the infielder’s overall game. It’s hard not to be encouraged, though, especially since his status as a prospect was starting to get a bit murky. None of the Red Sox’ other shortstop options — Brock Holt, Pedro Ciriaco or Drew Sutton — have done anything to win the Opening Day job. Iglesias, meanwhile, has taken advantage of his opportunity. It’s now up to Iglesias to prove he belongs in the majors for all of 2013, rather than just a few games in Drew’s absence. Have a question for Ricky Doyle? Send it to him via Twitter at @TheRickyDoyle or send it here.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Giants reportedly in talks with Max Scherzer, Chase Headley

Report: Robert Griffin III benched by Redskins for McCoy

Dice-K Matsuzaka headed back to Japan

Lovie Smith: 2-9 Bucs are still in playoff contention

UCLA QB Brett Hundley likely to enter NFL draft

Bills will return to Ralph Wilson Stadium for Sunday's game

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Miller to Oregon transfer rumor originates on Reddit

Valencia FC ditches bat logo amidst DC Comics challenge

Paul Pierce: Celtics' Big Three was like 'Holy Trinity'

Cubs reportedly offer Jon Lester more than $135 million

Colin Kaepernick: Jim Harbaugh will be back in 2015

Jeremy Maclin not happy with Riley Cooper’s contract remark

10 greatest Thanksgiving Day games in NFL history

Derrick Rose leaves game with hamstring tightness

WATCH: Ty Lawson drops Kirk Hinrich to the floor

Alabama DL trolls Auburn with Instagram photo

Rockies pitcher takes shot at former Astros pitcher

WATCH: Paul Pierce signs autograph during game

Jeremy Hill asks great question about alma mater LSU

NBA rookie rankings after 1st month of 2014-15 season

Statistic about Derrick Rose, Jimmy Butler very revealing

Aaron Rodgers blasts those who accused him of trolling Vikings

The century's 10 most one-sided college football rivalries

WATCH: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of NBA's first month

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.

Rose leaves with injury again

WATCH: Pierce signs for fan during game

Report: McCoy to start over RG3

Braxton Miller headed to Oregon?

10 most one-sided college football rivalries

Pierce: C's Big Three like 'Holy Trinity'

Maclin unhappy with Cooper comments

Post-Week 13 CFB Playoff projection

What has Masai Ujiri built in Toronto?

How L.A. should replace Hanley

Lester, Red Sox still talking contract

Why each NFL team should be thankful

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.