Boston Red Sox shortstop Xander Bogaerts is looking to follow in New York Yankees shortstop Derek Jeter’s footsteps.
On the surface, Bogaerts (a 21-year-old Aruba native preparing for his rookie season) and Jeter (a 39-year-old getting ready to wrap up a Hall of Fame career with a 20th season in pinstripes) are vastly different. But Bogaerts and Jeter also possess similarities, including experience working under current Red Sox third base coach/infield instructor Brian Butterfield.
Butterfield helped change Jeter’s career path while serving as a minor league coach with the Yankees in 1993. Now, Butterfield is focused on helping Bogaerts, who is slated to be Boston’s starting shortstop with Stephen Drew still unsigned.
“Bogey is much farther along than Jeter was at the time I worked with him,” Butterfield recently told The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo. “We had to work on everything with Derek, who was just a kid then. Bogey has had more of a base and Andy Fox (Red Sox minor league infield instructor) has already done great work with Bogey.”
Butterfield’s praise undoubtedly hit home for Bogaerts, who grew up idolizing Jeter. Bogaerts even wears No. 2 — now that Jacoby Ellsbury is with New York — in honor of the longtime Yankees shortstop.
“He was definitely the best example for any young player or any active player playing the game,” Bogaerts said. “When I hit the double, I spoke to him for a split second. This year I hope to hit more doubles so I can talk to him.
“It’s funny that we had the same coach teaching us the ropes,” Bogaerts added. “I know that was a long time ago when Butter worked with Jeter, but look at how good Jeter became because he worked with Butter.”