How Alex Cora is steering 18-year-old Nick Yorke in the right direction

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A year ago Nick Yorke was in high school, with well-meaning underclassmen at Archbishop Mitty High following the infielder's every move.

Now? The shoes are on the other feet.

Yorke is in the unique position of being immersed into the Red Sox' big league camp after being selected in the first-round of last June's MLB Draft. He is 18 years old. Eighteen!

Yorke's job this spring obviously isn't to make the team, or hit .800 in the Grapefruit League. It is to learn. And his primary teacher this time around? That would be Red Sox manager Alex Cora.

But this isn't about following around Cora. This is about following around the players Cora tells Yorke to follow around.

“It made me feel old," said Cora when talking about seeing Yorke. "(Cora's daughter) Camila turns 18 in March. It’s like wow, this is unreal. I saw him a few days ago in the batting cage and he’s lost some weight, he’s in a better place physically. He's a tall, strong kid. That was impressive. I looked and was like, who’s this kid? They told me and I was like, wow, that’s impressive.

"I asked him one question. I go, ‘So, who are you going to follow in spring training? Who’s the guy that you’re going to ask questions and you’re going to follow?’ And he goes, Enrique Hernandez. I said that’s a good one. Who else are you going to follow? He goes, J.D. (Martinez). I said, no no no, don’t follow J.D. right now. Let’s keep it simple and I said just follow Xander. Follow Xander Bogaerts from 7 a.m. until whenever we’re done and you’ll be in a good spot. That’s what we want from him. We know he has potential, but he’s here. Kind of like when Dalbec went to Fenway for a week in 2019. He’s going to spend a lot of time with us and that’s what I want him to do. Just learn, keep working, understand what it takes to be a big leaguer and he’ll be a big leaguer. He’ll be a big leaguer.”

For the story behind how the Red Sox landed Yorke, click here.