Boston Red Sox top-30 prospect rankings after the 2019 season
By Hunter Noll
26. Kole Cottam (Catcher)
Possibly the most underrated position in the Red Sox minors is the catcher. They have quite a few prospects that I like. Austin Rei, Jhon Nunez, Roldani Baldwin, and Charlie Madden just to name a few.
Of course, the top prospect at the position is Kole Cottam. The catcher had a phenomenal year in 2019, splitting time between Full-A and Advanced-A.
Cottam slashed .255/.363/.424 in 87 games. The right-handed hitter had 25 doubles, one triple, and eight home runs. He added a very solid 44 RBI and 47 runs scored as well.
That offensive potential makes him very intriguing. Cottam showed some very timely hitting in 2019. He also has plus-power potential and a good contact bat.
All-in-all, he could be a .275-plus hitter with 20-plus home runs and legitimately flirt with 100-plus RBI. For anyone, those would be great numbers, let alone a catch.
Meanwhile, he’s underrated defensively. Cottam still has some learning to do when it comes to pitch framing and blocking. However, he’s not bad in those categories, and he has an underrated arm.
Cottam also proved he can hit in the postseason. This year, he appeared in five postseason games. In those games, he went 6-for-17 (.353) with one walk, two RBI and one run scored. Again showing that he can hit in clutch situations.
Cottam spent 76 games in Full-A and 11 games in Advanced-A. Due to that, he’ll likely start 2020 in Advanced-A. With Christian Vazquez having a career-year in 2019, the Red Sox won’t be worrying too much about this position either.
There’s also the fact that the next man up win terms of prospects would likely be Rei. So Boston will probably go slow with Cottam. Let him develop all-around. At just 22, there’s no need to rush his development. Give him another full year or two in the minors before making any major moves.
He should be worth the wait.