The Red Sox expected to see their first-round draft pick Kolbrin Vitek (20th overall) playing at Fenway Park soon, though they didn’t expect it to be this soon.
The Lowell Spinners third baseman will join the rest of his Lowell club as they take on the Jamestown Jammers (Single-A Florida) in the fifth annual Futures at Fenway minor league doubleheader Saturday, allowing him to play third base in the shadow of the Green Monster sooner than expected.
"It’s a very cool and very exciting opportunity," Vitek said before the game. "It’s such a great park with such a great history. It’s such a great thing to come out here and have an opportunity to play on this field."
Just a few months prior to his Fenway debut, Vitek was manning second base for the Ball State Cardinals while taking the mound every weekend. He hit .361 for the Cardinals while throwing for a respectable 3.28 ERA as a starter over the weekends.
The Red Sox were eager to grab him with the 20th pick considering he was one of the better power hitters in the draft. He is the current No. 3 hitter in Lowell, where he is hitting .279 with 19 hits (six of them doubles) and nine RBIs.
When it comes to his game, he likes to model his play afterRed Sox second baseman Dustin Pedroia.
"I love watching him play," Vitek said. "He just goes balls out every play and is just a really fun player to watch."
Unfortunately for Vitek, Pedroia will likely be manning his natural position for a good while in Boston, so the Red Sox have shifted him to third base. It’s a move that Vitek has been working everyday to pick up something new.
"It’s not so bad," he said. "I go out there every day and learn something new about the position. I’m starting to feel a lot more comfortable out there. It’s been going good, just hard work every day."
The move to third base means a lot of relearning defense for Vitek, and it’s the other aspect of his game the Sox want him to work on.
"[They] just want me to get my defense down at third base," he said. "Just learn the position I’m most comfortable with because I’ve kind of been moved around my entire life. So I just have to learn how to get comfortable at one position only and work from there."
And he has been getting comfortable. He went 4-for-5 in his last game against Jamestown with three doubles, adding to his growing resume.
It’s players like Vitek that truly demonstrate the futures really being shown at Fenway.