Ryan Kalish, Red Sox Good Luck Charm?
Ryan Kalish made his major league debut on Saturday, the non-waiver trade deadline for all of baseball. Despite having hundreds of headlines around trades and potential trades, Kalish managed to make his presence felt in his first at-bat, ripping an rbi single into right field for his 1st major league hit and rbi. He proceeded to add another single to his resume and was there to witness a monster 3-run, walk-off double from Mr. Clutch, David Ortiz. Then the next night, with Kalish in the lineup, the Sox pulled off their 2nd straight dramatic win, walking off in the bottom of the 9th on a bunt single by Marco Scutaro and throwing error on the Detroit pitcher. Are the Sox gaining mojo from young Ryan Kalish?
I’m gonna go with yes on this one. For no good reason other than circumstantial fun, because now the Sox are 2-0 with Kalish in the lineup and both were dramatic and uplifting wins. Since being drafted 9th in the 2006 draft, Kalish has been a highly tauted prospect with the potential to be a superstar. As per the standard with the Sox, he was cautiously moved throughout the Sox system, beginning 2010 in Portland, then spending time in Pawtucket. The Sox were adamant about not bringing Kalish up to the majors too soon, but the situation called for more drastic measures and Kalish is playing in the bigs.
Once the Sox came to grips with promoting Kalish, his impact would of course be felt, because he replaced a barely .200 hitter with sub-par fielding skills in Jeremy Hermida. Kalish is an upgrade in nearly every single offensive and defensive category and has the real potential to be a mainstay in the Sox lineup for years to come. The best part of Kalish’s call-up is actually his energy and need to prove himself. He is focused on proving to the Sox management that he is ready to be an everyday player in the bigs, so he is putting out extra effort. That effort does not go unnoticed by teammates and they are pushed to elevate their game as well.
The first thing about Kalish that caught my eye is how jacked this kid’s upper-body is. For an athletic, fairly fast outfielder, he has the look of Trot Nixon, listed at 6’1″, 205 lbs (Nixon is 6’2″, 210 lbs). This season in both AA Portland and AAA Pawtucket, Kalish hit .294 with 13 home runs and 47 rbi and has continually impressed the Sox system staff. For a more detailed description of this scouting report, his write-up from SoxProspects.com is included below.
"Excellent athlete with a solid build, good bat speed, and lots of quickness. Plays the game at full tilt. The organization has worked with Kalish on his plate patience, and over time he has come to demonstrate an excellent approach at the plate. Average to above-average present power, has potential to add more. Makes solid contact and hits to all fields. Above-average speed. Steals a lot of bases due to his quick acceleration and high intelligence on the basepaths. In the field, he has a reliable glove, excellent range, an average arm, and average accuracy. Tough competitor with a mature demeanor. Kalish tends to be a very popular player with coaches, teammates, and fans. Plays all three outfield positions. Likely projects as a corner outfielder at the major league level, but should be able to cover spot duty in center field. Missed part of 2007 season with a wrist injury that lingered throughout the 2008 season. – SoxProspects.com"
If the Sox win late against the Cleveland Indians tonight, I think we should induct Ryan Kalish into the baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY on Tuesday, because he has magical powers. I certainly don’t expect another walk-off and hope that Kalish really is a good luck charm for the Sox to continue winning, but in a little bit easier fashion. The Sox sit just 5.5 behind the Tampa Bay Rays in the AL Wild Card hunt and just 6.5 out of the AL East with 58 games remaining, so they certainly are in a position to make a move against the Indians for 4 and then in New York against the Yankees for 4. As long as Kalish is in the lineup, the Sox are good to go.