It’s been a long time in waiting, but the Red Sox will finally get another glimpse at former top prospect Ryan Kalish. Kalish was their #1 prospect in 2010 and was called up after the abundance of injuries to the outfield. For a 22 year old, Kalish did a pretty decent job in Boston with a .252/.305/.405 slash line to go with 4 home runs and 24 RBIs. He also led the team with 10 stolen bases in his 53 games, showing the makings of a five tool player. He was sent down to triple-A Pawtucket to begin 2011, but the general consensus was that he’d be back up soon.
Wrong. Kalish struggled to start the season, batting only .209 with no home runs in 22 games to start the season. Things got dramatically worse when he injured his left shoulder making a diving catch in right field. He was placed on the DL, but nobody could have really predicted how bad of an effect that injury would cause. 2011 essentially became a lost year for Kalish as he would only play two more games (both in short-season-A Lowell) the rest of the season. His prospect status dropped dramatically and he even started the 2012 season on the DL.
Once he got off the DL, he was optioned to triple-A Pawtucket after a few rehab games in A and double-A league. So far, he’s gotten off to a surging start since starting his rehab on June 5. He is currently batting .394/.487/.818 with 4 home runs and 10 RBIs and was looking like the prospect he once was. Well, luckily for Kalish (and unluckily for the Red Sox), Ryan Sweeney has been placed on the 15-day DL with a toe injury. Kalish is the man the Red Sox have chosen to call up and the now-healthy Kalish will be looking to prove a point.
It’ll come at a price, however, as Sweeney has been one of the better hitters for the Red Sox this year. He is batting .292/.330/.404 with 17 doubles and 13 RBIs on the year. In Sweeney’s absence, though, it will be interesting to watch Kalish try and redeem himself. Still only 24 years old, the left-handed outfielder will try and prove he’s here to stay. In this season, that seems it could be unlikely with the Red Sox’ surplus of outfielders (Jacoby Ellsbury, Carl Crawford, Cody Ross, Ryan Sweeney) all probably going to be back soon. Kalish should be an exciting player to watch, though– he could provide a bright spot amidst all the injuries, like he did in 2010, and in any case– he can’t be worse than Darnell McDonald.