Boston Red Sox catching prospect Christian Vazquez has opened some eyes since being promoted to the big club. One of his biggest fans is someone who works alongside the young catcher.
Veteran catcher David Ross has been able to work closely with Vazquez, and Ross’ impression is similar to just about everyone else’s: Vazquez’s defensive tools are going to make him a legitimate big league backstop.
“Game-calling stuff up here is going to be trial-and-error and you’re going to have your ups and downs with that,” Ross explained Sunday via MassLive.com. “But I think he’s willing to learn. He pays attention. He listens. He asks questions. He’s better than advertised for me.”
Red Sox pitchers would seem to agree. Entering Sunday, Boston pitchers had posted a 3.19 ERA and .241 batting average against in Vazquez’s 14 games behind the plate. Both of those totals are tops among Red Sox catchers this season. His game-calling and pitch-framing ability have been a breath of fresh air for Red Sox pitchers, especially following the departure of A.J. Pierzynski.
Ross knows he still has to let Vazquez learn many things for himself, but he’s still willing to lend a word of advice here or there.
“I try to let players be themselves and then maybe after the game or the next day talk to guys,” Ross said, according to MassLive. “I feel like when you’re in the heat of the battle you’re doing the best you can so it’s hard to take yourself out of the game and try to do what I would want him to do. Christian Vazquez is going to be his own great major league player. I don’t want him to be like me, I want him to be like himself. If there’s something I see, that I can help him, I’ll interject but, if at all possible, I’ll wait until the next day or maybe after the game.”
Vazquez’s defense has been superb, and his bat has been batter than advertised in his short time in the majors. Vazquez was great offensively on Sunday night as his batting average climbed to .283 with two hits and two walks in Boston’s loss to the New York Yankees.