Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez quickly rising to the top

Photo courtesy of NESN
Last July, I caught up with a little known backstop at the AA All Star Game in New Britain, CT (Read the interview here). Christian Vazquez was his name, and defense was his specialty. Puerto Rican by birth,Vazquez spends the off seasons on the island perfecting his craft with the Molina brothers. While many have heard of him because of his quick release and his knack for throwing out base runners (this Spring he is a perfect 11-for-11), his hard work in the batting cages last summer in Portland have many raising their eyebrows in 2014. Even manager John Farrell has been impressed with the 23 year old's swing.
What’s impressive to me is the progress he’s making with the bat,’’ Farrell said the other day. “There’s more strength in his swing; there’s more solid impact. He drove the ball well to right-center field, and then there was the home run the other day [against Boston College]. When you look at the numbers [.289 AVG/.376 OBP/.395 SLG/.771 OPS], it’s heading in the right direction. He’s on a very good path.

With many Red Sox backstops battling for the right to wear Boston's uniform this season, Vazquez might be right in the mix behind A.J. Pierzynski and David Ross. With both A.J. and Ross signed to short term contracts, Vazquez is very quickly rising to the top of Boston's radar. And while Jackie Bradley was the story of 2013 Spring season, the 2014 Spring stove is already heating up now that Vazquez has added a bat to his repertoire.

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