Boston Red Sox Prospects: Why you should keep an eye on Kole Cottam

Greenville Drive's Kole Cottam (39) is safe at first base after a pickoff attempt from West Virginia Power during the game at Flour Field Thursday, April 4, 2019.Ss Drive 04 04 2019 1603
Greenville Drive's Kole Cottam (39) is safe at first base after a pickoff attempt from West Virginia Power during the game at Flour Field Thursday, April 4, 2019.Ss Drive 04 04 2019 1603 /

In a crowded Red Sox catching prospects field, watch for Kole Cottam.

The Major League Baseball season is in full swing. Meanwhile, the Minor League Baseball season is right around the corner. We’re almost there. And with it returns the Prospect Watch, and I am pumped. The Boston Red Sox are having a great season and have tons of exciting prospects to talk about.

Surprisingly one of their strong positions is catcher. I say surprisingly because many people have said they are weak there for a few years now. Personally, I’ve always felt it was a slept on position. Now, no one is going to bash it though, not with the acquisition of Connor Wong last offseason then of Ronaldo Hernandez this offseason. Wong is ranked 16th in the Red Sox organization and Hernandez is 11th.

At the same time, there are plenty of other talented backstops in the system. Despite injury troubles, Austin Rei is a good defender and has plenty of potential at the plate with a great eye. Roldani Baldwin has plenty of offensive potential as well.

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There is power in Alan Marrero’s bat and Juan Montero is extremely intriguing but the 18-year-old is far off and hasn’t even appeared in a game for the Red Sox MiLB system yet.

There is another name though, Kole Cottam. He’s someone you should absolutely keep an eye on in 2021.

If you’ve read the Prospect Watch in the past, you are probably familiar with Cottam.

I’ve learned quite a bit about him over the last few years. For one thing, his name doesn’t look right when you’ve typed it a bunch of times in a short amount of time. You’re going to keep going back to make sure you spelled it right.

You’ll also know that he has improved drastically defensively. His game calling has taken steps forward and his arm has gone from “okay” to “very good”.

All the positive steps on defense are amazing because he’s always been seen as an offensive weapon. Cottam has legitimate power. We’re talking 25-home-run-power. Out of the catcher position, that’s fantastic.

Cottam is only 23 and has just two years in the minors so far. The Red Sox fourth-round pick in 2018, he took major steps forward in all categories in 2019.

In that 2019 season, Cottam reached Advanced-A. Although he only appeared in 11 games, it was very promising. The right-handed hitter had a .256 batting average over 39 at-bats. That’s the highest he’s batted at any level in the minors so far (he hit .255 in Full-A that year).

Cottam ended the year with a .255/.363/.424 slash line between the two leagues. He managed 25 doubles, one triple, and eight home runs while driving in 44 runs and scoring 47 more.

This season, the catcher earned some time with the Red Sox in Spring Training. There he went 2-for-8 with a double and a run scored (he went 0-for-1 with a run scored last year in ST).

That isn’t a big sample size or anything, but it’s nice to see that Cottam can be productive at that level. Especially considering he had scattered at-bats making it hard to ever get into a rhythm.

The Red Sox have plenty of talent at the catcher position in their minor league system. Due to that fact, it would be forgiven if you overlooked someone. Don’t let it be Kole Cottam though. He has power, a good bat, and fast improving defense. Currently at High-A, we could see him enjoy a promotion or two in the minors this year.

Next. Red Sox lefty Eduardo Rodriguez displaying pinpoint control. dark

Even if you don’t pay close attention to him though, don’t worry. I have a strong feeling Kole Cottam is a name you’ll hear quite often in the Prospect Watch all 2021.