Red Sox fans have been anticipating the arrival of Jose Iglesias for years now. This spring, the young shortstop finally has the opportunity to make the big league roster and eventually grab the starting shortstop job.
The idea that Iglesias could patrol the middle of the infield with Dustin Pedroia for years to come has to be exciting for Red Sox Nation.
Pedroia is doing his best to make sure that it happens. A recent article from the Boston Herald documented the emerging friendship between the 2008 AL MVP and Iglesias.
“He’s still learning the language, the culture, everything,” Pedroia told the Herald. “I’m trying to make him feel like he’s one of us, because he’s going to be.”
While Pedroia’s leadership tactics are sometimes unusual, he undoubtedly gets through to the younger players. Pedroia is often seen shouting and playfully bullying, but Iglesias makes it clear that he appreciates it.
“I like when he yells at me,” Iglesias claimed. “When someone talks to you like that, it’s because they like you.”
Not too long ago, Pedroia was the young infielder trying to make it in the majors, and he hasn’t forgotten about the veteran mentor that helped him get through the rough patches. In his rookie year, it was Alex Cora that took Pedroia under his wing.
“[Cora] was here to help me transition to being a major league player. He’s my best friend in the game for that. That’s how you build special relationships,” Pedroia said of his former teammate.
Adjusting to the daily grind of being a major league baseball player can be difficult for anyone but with Pedroia’s help, Iglesias has a great chance to make the most of his opportunity. Whether he’s challenging Iglesias in fielding competitions or getting in his face, Pedroia is constantly pushing the rookie to improve.
With Iglesias’ natural talent and the guidance from a proven all-star in Pedroia, the Red Sox could have their middle infield set for years to come.