Sea Dog's Vazquez Looking to Add Offense to his Catching Game (Interview)

(From L to R) Vazquez, Spring, Ranaudo, Almanzar
Christian Vazquez stands tall at only five foot nine inches, but his game plays much more than that. The Puerto Rican top catching prospect first appeared on everyone's radar this past Spring, when Vazquez was clocked throwing balls down to second base at 1.8 seconds, faster than many have ever seen. Not wanting to just be known for his defense, Vazquez has really focused on his offense this Summer as well, and it's starting to pay off. He currently has a nine game hitting streak where he has been batting .444 with a .975 OPS and it's helped bring his average up from .257 to .281 on the season. RedSoxLife had a chance to talk to Vazquez recently and was able to pick his brain regarding offense, defense, and all other things Christian.

Pete Lepak (RedSoxLife) : Congrats on making the Eastern League All Star Team. What does this success mean to you?

Christian Vazquez: Its awesome you know, it’s the first time I’ve made an All Star team in my life, [and] its an honor.

RSL: A scout in the Spring of 2013 said you were the best young catcher he has ever seen because you have a strong arm and you manage the game very well. Lately, you have been hitting the ball very well too. What do you feel is your strength?

CV: Catching is my strength. The first priority of the pitcher, the starter and the bullpen, is to win a game, so [when I am catching], I get to help. And when I get to Boston, we need to win every game and try to win the World Series. My hitting is a plus to me, but my strength is catching and throwing the guys out at second base.

RSL: Which one is more fun for you?

CV: I love catching and throwing somebody out. I love that.

RSL: So you have been working with the Molina (Jose and Yadier, Puerto Rican MLB catchers) brothers?

CV: Yeah, in the off-season.

RSL: What have they taught you?

CV: Everything. We work on everything. We work everyday. Running, lifting, and after that we go to the ballpark to practice everything else.

RSL:  What have you been working on the most this season in Portland?

CV: My bat. I don’t hit too well, but I am working to stay to the middle, don’t think too much, stay on top of the ball... it’s the little things that will help me.

RSL: Who were you most excited to play with in Spring Training when you were training with Boston?

CV: David Ortiz. He is the father, the old guy. We all follow him in everything. He is very funny.

RSL: You seem to be a pretty funny guy as well. I was standing to watch the HR Derby and I noticed you were laughing with everyone as well.
Vazquez (right) clowns around with
(#36) New Britain Rock Cat, Josmil Pinto 
CV: First time, you have to enjoy it, ya know?

RSL: You got a chance to talk to and meet many of the fans yesterday [During FanFest]. Do you like signing autographs?

CV: Of course. They pay to see me. It’s fun.

RSL: How are the fans different in Puerto Rico than in New England?

CV: In Puerto Rico, the [fans] talk too much to everyone. Bad things, good things, everything.

RSL: Do you like playing any other sports on your free time?

CV: Volleyball, basketball.

RSL: Puerto Rico has a big volleyball following now, huh?

CV: A little bit, but now they play a lot of soccer, too.

Currently, Vazquez is the #15 ranked player in the Red Sox organization, and the second ranked catcher behind Blake Swihart.

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