Boston Red Sox prospect Christian Vazquez has the tools to be an impressive major league catcher. It’s possible the 23-year-old, in theory, could make the big league jump right now and be effective.
The Red Sox have two veteran catchers in A.J. Pierzynski and David Ross, but The Boston Globe’s Nick Cafardo included an interesting tidbit regarding Vazquez in his Sunday notes column this week. Apparently, one major league scout is so impressed by Vazquez’s all-around game that he thinks the young backstop would be atop any team’s wish list if the Red Sox became buyers at the trade deadline.
“If they wanted (Jeff) Samardzija, Vazquez would be one of the prospect the Cubs would ask for,” the scout told Cafardo. “That would be across the board, even for a major hitter. He’s major league-ready right now offensively and defensively. We also think he’ll hit for some power in the majors. Because they have (catcher) Blake Swihart, who a lot of teams will ask for as well, they probably would reluctantly give up Vazquez.”
Vazquez has shown an improved offensive approach over the last year-plus, and his incredible defense — highlighted by his quick feet and rocket arm — is well-documented. It’s possible Vazquez could become Boston’s everyday catcher as soon as 2015, while Swihart isn’t too far behind. In fact, the scout told Cafardo he thinks Swihart’s ceiling is even higher, although Swihart might not necessarily be major league-ready, like Vazquez.
“Rare athleticism for a catcher,” the scout told Cafardo about Swihart. “He’ll be the complete package.”
The most likely scenario involves the Red Sox keeping both young catchers, creating a very appealing tandem for years to come.