Plenty of optimism surrounds the Boston Red Sox for the upcoming season thanks to the talent still on their roster.

Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez had a career year offensively in 2019 and has proven he is one of Major League Baseball’s elite players defensively at the position. MLB.com’s Anthony Castrovince even believes Vazquez is the most underrated catcher in baseball right now, placing him on his “2020 All-Underrated Team” revealed Sunday.

Here’s why Castrovince believes Vazquez has earned this honor:

Going back to his debut season of 2014, Christian Vázquez has compiled 36 Defensive Runs Saved (DRS), putting him in the top 10 in the big leagues in that span. To put that number in perspective, the great Yadier Molina has 26 DRS in that time frame. Vázquez is also seventh in framing runs over the course of his career.

But it wasn’t until 2019 that he asserted himself enough offensively to be the regular behind the plate in Boston. He had 23 homers, 26 doubles and was one of only four catchers in the Majors to log at least 500 plate appearances while posting a weighted runs created plus (wRC+) mark better than the league average.

With fellow backstop Sandy Leon no longer in the mix, this officially is Vazquez’s time to assert himself as one of the league’s best at the position.

Thumbnail photo via Paul Rutherford/USA TODAY Sports Images