Re: A Realistic View at 2013: Part II
posted at 3/10/2013 8:47 AM EDT
In response to cassvt2004's comment:
In response to southpaw777's comment:
In response to jidgef's comment:
When you watch an outfielder like Bradley Jr. break on a ball at the crack of the bat you get an instant appreciation for natural fielding gifts. Ellsbury has improved with time and experience, and his speed can make up for poorer breaks, but he'll never have the natural instincts of a Bradley or a JD Drew for that matter.
Last night's game was a bit of a yawner; it looked like both teams were anxious to catch a bus or something. Lots of first-pitch grounders to the infield and too many called-third strikes, the worst of which came in the first inning when Nava left the bases loaded with one out. The highlight of the game for Boston was probably the play of young Vazquez as the back-up catcher, throwing out a would be stealer by a mile and cracking a solid double in the ninth. The back end of Pawtucket's pitching staff pitched pretty well. Other than that, only the cooler than expected temperatures kept us awake.
Im starting to become a big fan of Vasquez. I stared watching him a little more closely last year and really liked what I saw defensively. Hes got some power, but has only showed inconstant glimpses of it. But at such a young age for a catcher (22), Im sure the offensive numbers will rise.
I think instead of Lavarnway or Swihart, fans should start taking notice of this kid as our catcher of the future...
It seems like the Sox certainly are dealing from a position of strength at one of the hardest positions to draft and develop. I wouldn't be so quick to move one of them however, unless they were overwhelmed. Lavarnway could be a C/1B/DH type at the ML level, much like Napoli has been up to this point. Swihart is 20, I believe, but it doesn't seem like his body projects to that of a prototypical ML catcher. (isn't he like 5'10", 180 lbs.?) In addition, his bat and the fact he is a switch hitter may make him more valuable somewhere else, like Houston did with Biggio when they realized that catching was going to take a toll on his knees. Vasquez just looks the part. He is solid like Pudhe and the Molina's. He has a strong, accurate arm and a super quick release. He seems to block balls well. I haven't yet heard what kind of game he calls, but if pitchers like throwing to him, he seems to have the whole package. Sometimes offense develops a bit later w/ a catcher as well. I do not know much about Dan Butler, but they must have seen something in him as well to use a 40 man roster spot on him.
I certainly wouldnt be moving any of our catchers just yet either. Im just very excited to finally see the prototypical type catcher with great defense and the offensive potential that Vasquez has. I read somewhere yesterday that he grew up around or watching the molinas and models his game after theirs. Nothing wrong with that. From all accounts hes a smart catcher with great instincs for the position and the game. Still, unless he just completely breaks out this year, Im looking at 2015 for him. But wouldnt be surprised if he made an appearence in 2014.
Ive been saying for a while that Lavarnway doesnt look natural behind the plate. Lumbering and clumsy IMO. His bat is his big asset and IMO would be better at 1b/DH and could catch in an emergency. Hes not a starting catcher in MLB IMO. But what do I know.
Dan butler was non drafted in 2009 I believe. Im not sure hes a ft starter in MLB either. Good defense, game calling but lacking on offense. Hes projected as a BU at the MLB level or maybe a starter on a low level team.
Im with you on Swihart. I think hes going to end up at a different position mainly because of his size. Im sure he will fill out a bit, but his body type doesnt look like your prototypical catcher, ie; Vasquez, Salty. Hes got great potential, but like Biggio, I not sure he will last behind the plate in the long run.
The future does look pretty good at that position for the Sox. Look forward to your next updates. Enjoy sunny FT. Myers...