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August 19, 2013 at 7:56 AM

Xander Bogaerts gets the call

The speculation is finally over as Alex Speier of WEEI.com reports Red Sox top prospect Xander Bogaerts has been called up to the big leagues. 

Bogaerts, 20, began the 2013 campaign in Double-A Portland but has spent the last two months at Triple-A Pawtucket. In his 60 games as the youngest player in Triple-A, SoxProspects.com's number 1 ranked prospect batted .284 with nine home runs and an .822 OPS. 

In 444 at-bats combined between both levels this season, Bogaerts produced a line of .297/.388/.477. 

While primarily playing shortstop, his natural position, Bogaerts has also played nine games at third base. According to the WEEI.com report, the right-handed hitting Bogaerts is expected to serve in a utility role for the team while playing against left-handed pitchers.

The Aruban-born infielder has a solid 6-foot-3 frame and boasts elite batspeed and strong hands, leaving some to argue he is the best hitting prospect in the minor leagues. He was a consensus top-10 prospect in the game at midseason, ranked third by ESPN's Keith Law and Baseball Prospectus's Jason Parks, fourth by Baseball America, and sixth by MLB.com's Jonathan Mayo. He was also ranked second in the game by John Sickels on Minor League Ball.

In Ian Cundall's latest Scouting Scratch, he detailed how Bogaerts was unfazed by the increased offerings of secondary pitches he has received in Triple-A. Defensively, he is less refined, although he boasts a strong arm, good range and has shown ample progression. 

To make room on the roster, the Red Sox optioned utility infielder Brock Holt to Pawtucket. Holt hit .203 with two extra-base hits in 23 games for the Red Sox.

In addition, catcher Ryan Lavarnway has also been optioned to make room for David Ross, who will be activated off the 60-day disabled list following a rehab stint in Pawtucket. Pitchers Clay Buchholz and Andrew Bailey will be transferred to the 60-day disabled list to make room for Bogaerts and Ross on the 40-man roster. Bailey is out for the season, although Buchholz is expected to return in a few weeks, making the move procedural to generate a roster spot, according to Speier.

Photo Credit: Xander Bogaerts by Kelly O'Connor. 

Luke Lavoie is a Staff Writer for SoxProspects.com. Follow him on Twitter here.