Conor’s Top Red Sox Prospects: #16
Kolbrin Vitek has potential to be a very good player for the Red Sox. However, the first round pick in the 2010 draft has been a disappointment so far in the Red Sox system. Vitek had scouts buzzing after a junior year at Ball State which saw him bat .361 with 17 home runs. While Vitek has hit at a solid clip in the minors so far, he is yet to hit for nearly as much power as he did in college. In the three seasons he has spent in the Red Sox farm system, Vitek only has eight home runs– less than half of his junior year at Ball State. Vitek had his best season in the Red Sox farm last year when he batted .281/.350/.372 with 3 home runs and 43 RBIs for high-A Salem. This year he is playing for double-A Portland and is only at .252 with a home run.
Despite all this, SoxProspects (see his page here) says that he is a good hitter with finely tuned mechanics. He has a good swing and has potential to be a good hitter for average, but he rarely drives the ball. SoxProspects says that he has average power potential but needs to increase the loft in his swing– something that may decrease his average. Now, Vitek has been playing third base in his minor league career but he is not a natural to say the least. He could probably be a better outfielder as he has above average speed and this would require less polished footwork– something Vitek has struggled at since moving to third (he played second base in college).
To claim a future role with the big club, Vitek will probably have to move to the outfield. Red Sox fans everywhere are hoping Will Middlebrooks holds down the fort at third base for a long time so third base prospects aren’t in such a good position. He does have a good arm, so a corner outfield spot could fit him well. He projects to be either a #2 guy or a bottom of the order guy in a major league batting order. Vitek will probably finish this season at double-A and may or may not move to Pawtucket at the end of the year. Regardless, he should be a major league option by around 2014 so look for him then.