Boston Red Sox: Grading the squad before spring training begins
The catching consists of Christian Vazquez and that other guy. For many a season “other guy” was Sandy Leon and now it is one Kevin Plawecki. Plawecki brings his -0.1 bWAR and .222 average to Boston but far more important in the big picture is Plawecki’s paltry $900,000 salary. If Plawecki comes upon hard times then Juan Centeno is around for another year of enjoying Pawtucket.
Vazquez caught 119 games in 2019 and that number may increase a dozen or so in 2020. What surprised us even in the year of the home run the 23 whacked by Vaz was bordering shocking territory. In fact, Vazquez hovered around .300 until late July. At just 29-years-old and a team-friendly contract Vazquez rates as a pleasant bargain with his 2.2 bWAR.
Naturally, if you focus on the dark side the catching can be the Achilles heel of the team if Vazquez sustains any serious injury or goes into an offensive and defensive funk. The Boston farm system is in need of serious reconstruction and one part of the project is catching talent.
The Red Sox have only one catching prospect in their top-30 prospects and that is Connor Wong the late entry from the pilfering of Betts.
So in an effort to remain positive, the catching duo is solid as spring training begins. Plawecki may not be in the defensive plus of Leon, but close enough to suffice for that once or twice a week he’ll be called upon.
Vazquez is a potential All-Star and is a willing warrior even filling in at third and second base during 2019 without any defensive embarrassment.
The focus will be on catching depth in the minors and possible depth stored at Pawtucket.