Re: Good article about Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart
posted at 1/30/2014 2:24 PM EST
This is a couple weeks old, but it is still a great article about Vazquez. I think on defense alone, Vazquez could play right now. I am very encouraged that he has walked more than he struck out after a promotion to AA and has very good OBP skills. I honestly think he has a better chance at being a successful catcher in the majors than Swihart personally.
Reasons why I think he has a better chance... he is the better defender and would have the best cannon and pop time in the game right now if he started in the majors IMO. Gold glove written all over him and that is the name of the game with catchers.
Many young players will create a buzz in spring training, opening some eyes that may not have been paying attention. Catcher Christian Vazquez did just that last year, showing off his strong and accurate arm, gunning down all five would-be base stealers in his 15 appearances, including one start.
Vazquez, a ninth-round pick by the Red Sox out of Puerto Rico in 2008, threw out 47 percent (47 of 101) of attempted base stealers with Double A Portland last season before earning a promotion to Pawtucket. Overall he hit .287 with a .766 OPS in 97 games.
“Really fun [pitching to Vazquez],” said righthander Anthony Ranaudo, who participated in the Red Sox’ rookie workout, held inside the bubble Friday at Harvard Stadium. “It takes a lot of pressure off when there’s guys on base. He does a great job calling games. I threw to him in 2011 and that was probably the biggest thing I noticed throwing to him in 2013, he calls a great game. And not that he didn’t in 2011, but he’s learned a lot.
“Christian’s definitely very close,” said Ben Crockett, director of player development. “I think we’re very lucky to be in a position where we’ve got three guys — and potentially four with Blake [Swihart] — at the upper levels that they could help us at the major league level. Obviously [Ryan] Lavarnway was there last year and is the most experienced of that group.