PORTLAND, Maine — In Wednesday night’s World Series-clinching 6-1 win over the St. Louis Cardinals, the starting third baseman for the Boston Red Sox was 21-year-old Xander Bogaerts, and one of the relievers used by manager John Farrell was 25-year-old Brandon Workman.
Both were rookies and started the season with the Double-A Eastern League Portland Sea Dogs.
Seventeen of the 25 players on the Red Sox World Series roster either played for the Sea Dogs at some time in their careers or did an injury rehab stint with the team.
Lefthander Drake Britton also started the year with the Sea Dogs (7-6, 3.51 ERA) and eventually pitched for the Red Sox (1-1, 3.86 in 18 games), but he wasn’t on the postseason roster.
Bogaerts played 56 games for the Sea Dogs, hitting .311, before being promoted to Triple-A Pawtucket, where he hit .284 in 60 games. He was called up by the Red Sox and hit .250 in 18 games.
He supplanted Will Middlebrooks at third during the American League playoffs and wound up hitting .296 over 12 games, including the World Series. He scored nine runs, knocked in a pair, drew six walks and had three doubles and a triple. He committed one error.
Bogaerts went 5-for-21 in the World Series (.238).
Bogaerts played in the 2009 Senior League World Series at Bangor’s Mansfield Stadium for Aruba.
Workman appeared in 11 games for the Sea Dogs and posted a 5-1 record and a 3.43 earned run average. He was called up to Pawtucket (3-1, 2.80) and then to the Red Sox (6-3, 4.97 in 20 games).
The right-hander made seven postseason appearances for the Red Sox and didn’t allow an earned run over eight and two-thirds innings. He gave up seven hits, struck out four and walked three, and he capped his season with a perfect eighth inning on Wednesday night, retiring all three hitters he faced.
The Texan was 0-1 in the World Series, allowing three hits and an unearned run over three and a half innings.
“We’re proud of those guys,” said Sea Dogs assistant general manager Chris Cameron. “They were pretty impressive. They handled themselves like seasoned veterans. We knew they had good careers ahead of them, but we didn’t expect to see them in the World Series. But by the end of the season, they had key roles.”
“It’s nice to know what goes on here helped,” said Sea Dogs President Charlie Eshbach. “Not only did Bogaerts start at third, he looked like he belonged there. And Workman was terrific.”
“This is a testament to the Red Sox organization, the way they draft players, and the way they develop them,” said Cameron. “Bogaerts is a young kid. He just turned 21. But he showed no fear. It was almost as if he didn’t realize the magnitude of the situation he was in. He went out there with ice water in his veins and got the job done.
“His skill level is above and beyond anyone else his age at that level,” added Cameron.
Cameron said Workman exhibited a “great fastball with a lot of life on it.”
Cameron and Eshbach said the Sea Dogs should reap some of the benefits through increased ticket sales and merchandise sales.
“What is good for the Red Sox is definitely good for us,” said Cameron. “People will want to know who will be the next [Sea Dogs] player to make an impact on the Red Sox and they’ll come to see them.”
The Sea Dogs will begin selling tickets for next season at Hadlock Field 9 a.m.-3 p.m Saturday.
Orlando Cabrera, who was the starting shortstop on the Red Sox’s 2004 World Championship team, will sign free autographs from 9-11 a.m.
“You probably couldn’t have better timing than that. They won the World Series on Wednesday, and we begin selling tickets on Saturday,” said Eshbach.