By Ashley Dunkak
When the Detroit Tigers traded for rookie shortstop Jose Iglesias back in late July, it looked like little more than a desperate, last-minute move to replace Jhonny Peralta, who had just been suspended 50 games.
In reality, the Tigers landed one of the best young players in Major League Baseball, one who could distinguish himself in years to come as one of the most artful, exciting players at his position.
Even though Iglesias came up short in the final vote for American League Rookie of the Year, he proved to be a valuable addition to the Tigers. He made solid plays as well as a remarkable number of spectacular ones.
Iglesias finished second in Rookie of the Year voting behind Tampa Bay Rays outfield Wil Myers, who won by 51 points, a considerable margin. In 88 games, Myers batted .293 with a .354 on-base percentage. He hit 13 homers, batted 53 runners in and amassed a perfect 1.000 fielding percentage with zero errors committed.
Iglesias made his Detroit debut Aug. 2, and since then he wowed fans, analysts and fellow players alike with his flashy plays made with an eye-catching red glove. In 164 chances at shortstop, Iglesias made 103 assists and 59 putouts, giving him an excellent fielding percentage of .988.
His performance at the plate was also solid. He batted .303 with a .349 on-base percentage. In the American League Division Series, he struggled offensively, getting just one hit in 12 at bats. In the American League Championship Series, Iglesias did much better, getting five hits in 14 at bats for an average of .357 in that series.
Before joining the Tigers, Iglesias played 63 games for the Boston Red Sox, where he played both third base and shortstop and hit .330.