March 13, 2012; Tampa, FL, USA; Boston Red Sox shortstop Mike Aviles (3) prior to the game against the New York Yankees at George M. Steinbrenner Field. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE
After the Red Sox traded Marco Scutaro to the Rockies this winter for Clayton Mortensen, it appeared the shortstop job was Mike Aviles' to lose. The Red Sox felt prospect 22-year-old Jose Iglesias, while gifted defensively, wasn't ready to hit in the majors. Iglesias hit just .235/.285/.269 in 101 games at Pawtucket in 2011, so Boston's hesitation is justified.
Iglesias' defense was as good as advertised this spring and there are some still calling for his promotion. But Aviles is better than most people realize. He's mostly been a role player in his career and is finally getting his chance at a full time role. If Aviles' defense becomes a major concern, Boston has Nick Punto as a defensive replacement. While an Aviles/Punto platoon isn't what some Boston fans were hoping for, they will provide underrated production as they keep the spot warm for Iglesias.