All it took was one throw to catch the attention of everyone who was at Friday night's exhibition game and make them wonder, who is this guy? The zip of the ball could be heard by every player on the field. The throw was made by Red Sox prospect catcher Christian Vazquez.
The #16 prospect in the organization according to MLB.com, Vazquez showed that he had big-league skills when he got rid of the ball to tag up Twins' Trevor Plouffe in just 1.82 seconds. You just can't ask anybody to be much faster than that. Sox manager John Farrell had plenty of praise for the 22-year-old with the rocket arm:
"Just outstanding feet, quick release, plenty of arm strength and accuracy," Farrell said after the Red Sox's 2-0 loss. "This is probably the fourth guy he's cut down in Spring Training and all of the same variety. He's confident when he throws a baseball, and that shows in the accuracy and the quickness with which he releases the ball."
"I will say this: He's a bright-looking prospect behind the plate," Farrell said. "He's durable. This is a guy that's really come a long way since he signed out of Puerto Rico. He's really worked his way from a stamina standpoint, overall strength. When his arrival date is here, he's probably a couple injuries away in the short term. In the long term, he's got some development left with the bat, but he's a very good prospect behind the plate."
Selected in the 2008 First-Year Player Draft out of Bayamon, Puerto Rico by the Sox, Vazquez seems to already posses major league defensive skills. He spent much of the offseason training with both Jose and Yadier Molina, who taught the young gun how to strike as quickly as possible. You have to think that with a quick release like he's shown that Vazquez could maybe be ready to take the next step, right? Farrell isn't ruling anything out:
"Oh, when you consider his quick release -- tonight he was 1.82 throwing the guy out at second base -- he would be in the conversation with a number of [top] guys with quick release and arm strength, that's for sure," said Farrell.For Vazquez, taking advantage of his Spring Training reps has worked out well so far. We'll see how he continues to develop and if he may get a shot at the big league. With defensive skills that pleasantly reminds Sox fans of the former captain Jason Varitek, Vazquez may quickly win over the hearts of fans.
@aidonidis18 Anthony Aidonidis 3/10/2013 04:42:00 PM Tweet