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Thread: Christian Vazquez

  1. #31
    Quote Originally Posted by southpaw777 View Post
    What do you mean its time to see if he has what it takes? He was here all last year and for the start of this year and it was painfully obvious he has a lot of work to do defensively as well as learning to call games, work with pitchers and frame pitches. Hes hardly "languishing" in AAA...Hes learning his position where he should, In the minors. I like Hanny better as a BU anyway. He can handle wright better and is a better defender. No need to have Swi "languish" in Boston for 60-70% of the time on the bench when he can play almost every game in AAA.
    My guess is he is trade bait this year anyway. Im sure there will be no shortage of teams interested in him. I like the kid and understand he came up last year out of necessity, but most everyone knows he wasnt done with his development yet. Hes still young for a catcher. Especially one that only just started catching full time once he turned pro.
    Apologies for the long post here....this is the article that convinced me that Swihart's time has come. First, some excerpts, then a link to the full article:

    "This brings us back to Blake Swihart. Swihart was a more touted prospect than Bradley. Whereas Bradley was a consensus top-50 prospect in his final minor league season, Swihart was a consensus top-20 prospect. And after being rushed to the majors last season, Swihart adjusted well: In the second half, he was one of the best-hitting catchers in the American League.

    This season, he posted a .391 on-base percentage in the six games he played. He was the Opening Day starter, and he reached base safely in all six games he played. But he made a couple of defensive mistakes, and was sent to the minors to work on them. There are many problems with this.

    The first, as I’ve said, six games are not nearly enough to evaluate a player. Second, the team has started letting him play left field. Third, the catchers playing in his stead – Christian Vazquez and Ryan Hanigan – can’t hit.

    The first and second points are related, and again show Farrell’s itchy trigger finger. I’m reminded of players like Gary Sheffield, Melvin Upton Jr., Troy Tulowitzki and Xander Bogaerts. When they came up, all were plagued by calls to move to different defensive positions. All four were given chances to prove they belong at their original positions. Sheffield was allowed to make 15 errors at shortstop and 88 at third base before being moved full-time to the outfield. Upton made 34 errors at various infield positions before he was moved to the outfield. Both were given multiple seasons in the infield before moving to the outfield. Tulowitzki and Bogaerts both proved their doubters wrong and learned to play fantastic defense at shortstop, because they were given the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own."

    "Swihart hasn’t been given enough playing time to succeed or fail on his own. The shift to left field, robs him of realizing his full potential as a catcher, and also his trade value at that position. The only way Swihart plays in left field regularly is if an infielder gets hurt and Brock Holt moves back to the infield. Otherwise, Holt is going to be playing left field, and now that he’s an All-Star, Farrell isn’t going to bench Holt for Swihart. Swihart’s only path to normal playing time in Boston is behind the plate, except now they’ve cleared him out in favor of Vazquez and Hanigan. Which might be OK if Vazquez and Hanigan could hit.

    The problem is that the things that Vazquez does best – his defensive abilities – are not as important as they’ve been made out to be. This winter at FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan showed how quickly any advantages from pitch framing are eroding. This is backed up by how little teams value defense-first catchers. All-time pitch framing king Jose Molina never made more than $2.75 million a season. Vazquez is good at pitch framing, but he needs to excel at something else.

    The most obvious thing to excel at is hitting, and he just plain isn’t there. For the season, he is hitting .241/.290/.379, which equates to a 75 wRC+. What that means is that he’s hit 25 percent worse than the average hitter. And as we discussed, he’s been one of the worst-hitting Red Sox catchers in the Henry/Werner era. Ryan Hanigan, meanwhile, has been much worse – .143/.234/.190, for a 14 wRC+, or 86 percent worse than the average hitter. Among the 45 catchers with at least 40 plate appearances, Hanigan’s wRC+ ranks 41st. This isn’t new. In the National League, Hanigan hit .262/.359/.343 – not great, but acceptable. Since coming to the AL in 2014 though, he’s hit .222/.318/.313, which isn’t acceptable, even for a catcher. To say the Red Sox need Swihart’s bat is a dramatic understatement. The team is scoring plenty of runs at the moment, but that won’t last forever, and there is little reason to forfeit one spot in the lineup.

    Farrell has made a habit out of shunting young players to the side before they’ve had a chance to prove that they do or don’t belong. He marginalized Jackie Bradley Jr. after his slow start in 2013, and he pushed Xander Bogaerts off of his natural position in 2014 so that he could play the abysmal Stephen Drew. Now he is doing the same thing to Blake Swihart, in seeming deference to keeping Ryan Hanigan on the roster and Christian Vazquez as the starter. Hanigan might be a great presence on the team, but he can be just as great of a presence if he retires and becomes a coach. It’s time for the Red Sox to dump Hanigan and stop pretending Blake Swihart is a left fielder, and let Swihart prove conclusively that either he can or cannot be a major league catcher."


    Here is the link to the full article: http://www.boston.com/sports/boston-...-blake-swihart

  2. #32
    Quote Originally Posted by FredLynn View Post
    Farrell has made a habit out of shunting young players to the side before they’ve had a chance to prove that they do or don’t belong. He marginalized Jackie Bradley Jr. after his slow start in 2013, and he pushed Xander Bogaerts off of his natural position in 2014 so that he could play the abysmal Stephen Drew. Now he is doing the same thing to Blake Swihart, in seeming deference to keeping Ryan Hanigan on the roster and Christian Vazquez as the starter. Hanigan might be a great presence on the team, but he can be just as great of a presence if he retires and becomes a coach. It’s time for the Red Sox to dump Hanigan and stop pretending Blake Swihart is a left fielder, and let Swihart prove conclusively that either he can or cannot be a major league catcher."[/I][/B]

    Here is the link to the full article: http://www.boston.com/sports/boston-...-blake-swihart
    Wow, this article is quite a hatchet job. Drew being signed and Bogaerts being moved to third in 2014 coincided with Middlebrooks getting injured.

    A lot of assumptions about Farrell being the one making decisions like promoting Vazquez or trying Swihart in left.

    And where is the mention of Shaw starting over Panda or how well the young guys are doing this year?

    (Note to Fred - I realize the reason you posted this was only because of Swihart.)

  3. #33
    Who the hell is Paul Swyden?
    Fire Farrell - fucking check mark!
    Trade Pedroia
    Sign JD Martinez to play 1B/DH
    Sign Alex Cora for MGR - check plus!

  4. #34
    Quote Originally Posted by mvp 78 View Post
    Who the hell is Paul Swyden?
    Dan Shaughnessy's intern?

  5. #35
    Quote Originally Posted by Eddy Ballgame View Post
    Dan Shaughnessy's intern?
    Paul Swydan is the managing editor of The Hardball Times, a writer and editor for FanGraphs and a writer for Boston.com. He has written for The Boston Globe, ESPN MLB Insider and ESPN the Magazine, among others. Follow him on Twitter @Swydan.

    Damn you Fangraphs! Damn you to Hell!!!
    Fire Farrell - fucking check mark!
    Trade Pedroia
    Sign JD Martinez to play 1B/DH
    Sign Alex Cora for MGR - check plus!

  6. #36
    Quote Originally Posted by FredLynn View Post
    Apologies for the long post here....this is the article that convinced me that Swihart's time has come. First, some excerpts, then a link to the full article:

    "This brings us back to Blake Swihart. Swihart was a more touted prospect than Bradley. Whereas Bradley was a consensus top-50 prospect in his final minor league season, Swihart was a consensus top-20 prospect. And after being rushed to the majors last season, Swihart adjusted well: In the second half, he was one of the best-hitting catchers in the American League.

    This season, he posted a .391 on-base percentage in the six games he played. He was the Opening Day starter, and he reached base safely in all six games he played. But he made a couple of defensive mistakes, and was sent to the minors to work on them. There are many problems with this.

    The first, as Iíve said, six games are not nearly enough to evaluate a player. Second, the team has started letting him play left field. Third, the catchers playing in his stead Ė Christian Vazquez and Ryan Hanigan Ė canít hit.

    The first and second points are related, and again show Farrellís itchy trigger finger. Iím reminded of players like Gary Sheffield, Melvin Upton Jr., Troy Tulowitzki and Xander Bogaerts. When they came up, all were plagued by calls to move to different defensive positions. All four were given chances to prove they belong at their original positions. Sheffield was allowed to make 15 errors at shortstop and 88 at third base before being moved full-time to the outfield. Upton made 34 errors at various infield positions before he was moved to the outfield. Both were given multiple seasons in the infield before moving to the outfield. Tulowitzki and Bogaerts both proved their doubters wrong and learned to play fantastic defense at shortstop, because they were given the opportunity to succeed or fail on their own."

    "Swihart hasnít been given enough playing time to succeed or fail on his own. The shift to left field, robs him of realizing his full potential as a catcher, and also his trade value at that position. The only way Swihart plays in left field regularly is if an infielder gets hurt and Brock Holt moves back to the infield. Otherwise, Holt is going to be playing left field, and now that heís an All-Star, Farrell isnít going to bench Holt for Swihart. Swihartís only path to normal playing time in Boston is behind the plate, except now theyíve cleared him out in favor of Vazquez and Hanigan. Which might be OK if Vazquez and Hanigan could hit.

    The problem is that the things that Vazquez does best Ė his defensive abilities Ė are not as important as theyíve been made out to be. This winter at FanGraphs, Jeff Sullivan showed how quickly any advantages from pitch framing are eroding. This is backed up by how little teams value defense-first catchers. All-time pitch framing king Jose Molina never made more than $2.75 million a season. Vazquez is good at pitch framing, but he needs to excel at something else.

    The most obvious thing to excel at is hitting, and he just plain isnít there. For the season, he is hitting .241/.290/.379, which equates to a 75 wRC+. What that means is that heís hit 25 percent worse than the average hitter. And as we discussed, heís been one of the worst-hitting Red Sox catchers in the Henry/Werner era. Ryan Hanigan, meanwhile, has been much worse Ė .143/.234/.190, for a 14 wRC+, or 86 percent worse than the average hitter. Among the 45 catchers with at least 40 plate appearances, Haniganís wRC+ ranks 41st. This isnít new. In the National League, Hanigan hit .262/.359/.343 Ė not great, but acceptable. Since coming to the AL in 2014 though, heís hit .222/.318/.313, which isnít acceptable, even for a catcher. To say the Red Sox need Swihartís bat is a dramatic understatement. The team is scoring plenty of runs at the moment, but that wonít last forever, and there is little reason to forfeit one spot in the lineup.

    Farrell has made a habit out of shunting young players to the side before theyíve had a chance to prove that they do or donít belong. He marginalized Jackie Bradley Jr. after his slow start in 2013, and he pushed Xander Bogaerts off of his natural position in 2014 so that he could play the abysmal Stephen Drew. Now he is doing the same thing to Blake Swihart, in seeming deference to keeping Ryan Hanigan on the roster and Christian Vazquez as the starter. Hanigan might be a great presence on the team, but he can be just as great of a presence if he retires and becomes a coach. Itís time for the Red Sox to dump Hanigan and stop pretending Blake Swihart is a left fielder, and let Swihart prove conclusively that either he can or cannot be a major league catcher."


    Here is the link to the full article: http://www.boston.com/sports/boston-...-blake-swihart
    No apologies needs bro.

    To downplay Vaz' skills because of some defensive stats ( which i take with a grain of salt) is ridiculous...he picks off runners, throws them out no matter whos on the mound. Pitchers feel way more comfortable throwing balls in the dirt because they know Vaz will block them...yes, his framing has stolen quite a few strikes already...theres WAY too much intangibles for a catcher to look at a couple stats and say his skills are basically overrated...there is no way Swihart is in the same level as Vaz is on D.
    Let all the other teams undervalue the catcher because they rely on some defensive stats that are already questionable...the intangibles...THATS what seperates the elite one...thats where Vaz excels...

    All those other players were not catchers. I understamd having patience, but when your pitchers are not comfortable with him behind the plate yet, then you shouldnt use him...yet. He needs to be on a low market team if hes going to catch in MLB right now. Holt is hurt so Swihart will now get some reps in LF. Hes still got plenty of value as a catcher. Most of his reps are behind the plate in AAA

    Also, yes, Vaz CAN hit..im so tired of people saying he cant hit. Hes been out for a year. Where is the patience for that? Will he be as good as Swihart? Maybe not, but to think hes an automatic out shows they havent been watching him. Solid approach at the plate and has solid gap to gap power. Drove in three the other night and will run into a few HR over the course of a season...if he hits 250 310 390 thats good enough for me. Im also of the opinion that Vaz will improve offensively like Yadi did. Tek didnt really come into his offensive skills til the late 20's. I think Vaz will do the same without as much power.
    Last edited by southpaw777; 05-20-2016 at 12:19 PM.

  7. #37
    And Hannigan has a lifetime BA of 253 and an OBP of 350..he walks a lot and takes a bunch of pitches. That has value. Hes not an automatic out either. Im not understamding what fangraphs wants.. All elite hitters and downplay defense behind the plate? .thats totally ridiculous...
    I get all the stats, but you have to balance that out with other things you cant quantify with numbers.

  8. #38
    Quote Originally Posted by southpaw777 View Post
    No apologies needs bro.

    To downplay Vaz' skills because of some defensive stats ( which i take with a grain of salt) is ridiculous...he picks off runners, throws them out no matter whos on the mound. Pitchers feel way more comfortable throwing balls in the dirt because they know Vaz will block them...yes, his framing has stolen quite a few strikes already...theres WAY too much intangibles for a catcher to look at a couple stats and say his skills are basically overrated...there is no way Swihart is in the same level as Vaz is on D.
    Let all the other teams undervalue the catcher because they rely on some defensive stats that are already questionable...the intangibles...THATS what seperates the elite one...thats where Vaz excels...

    Also, yes, he CAN hit..im so tired of people saying he cant hit. Are they even watching the games? Will he be as good as Swihart? Maybe not, but to think hes an automatic out shows they havent been watching him. Solid approach at the plate and has solid gap to gap power. Drove in three the other night and will run into a few HR over the course of a season...
    This discussion reminds me of another player who was at the very top of the "EXPENDABLE" list last season because he allegedly 'couldn't hit'. What is it...24 in a row now? (and dear Lord, please don't let this post jinx him!)

    I'm not saying Vaz is going to turn into JBJ at the plate now. What I'm saying is that it's often worthwhile to cut a player with outstanding defensive skills some slack offensively. He may be turn out to be better with the bat than is believed and if he doesn't anything you get from him beyond 'below average' offensively is made up for by his defense.
    Any owners who sign previously suspended PED abusers to a big $$ contract are as guilty of perpetuating the PED problem as are the players.

  9. #39
    Paul Swydon is an idiot. I have no objection to giving Swihart another shot in Boston, but one certainty at this point is that the Sox don't need his bat at all. They lead MLB in runs and OPS. He had an entire year last year and spring training and a few games, not many, to show he could catch and handle pitchers. I think he was moved to Pawtucket because the collective opinion by Farrell and the FO and the bench coach and the pitching coach was that Swihart was actually bad for the pitching staff. That would also explain why they are giving him LF time in Pawtucket and apparently are calling him back up to replace Holt as the lefty bat in LF (Young being the righty bat) for a few days. He is also catching some games in Pawtucket, so clearly the Sox haven't given up on Swihart as a catcher. At some point it is possible that Swihart could be both a LF and a C in Boston, but meanwhile here is a chance to see him in LF right now.

    The Bogaerts complaint is spurious. In 2013 the Sox had three SS's--Iglesias, Drew, and Bogaerts. They dumped Iglesias for a pitcher--a clear sign that their long term SS was going to be Bogaerts--and kept Drew at SS and got Bogaerts some at bats at 3B. The next year they did bring Drew back, briefly, and that was obviously very temporary. Drew was, let us also acknowledge, a better fielding SS in 2013 and 2014 than Bogaerts. Last year Bogaerts stayed at SS and clearly improved his fielding over 2013 and 2014, so clearly he was none the worse for his games at 3B. All in all, I think it's obvious the Sox have brought Bogaerts along beautifully.

  10. #40
    The league average catcher and coincidentally Vasquez, is producing a .669 OPS at the MLB level. Considering there's room for improvement from a guy who missed a full year of development, labeliing him an auto-out is a bit of stretch, specially when so many regulars (including guys who play other, more offensively demanding positions) sport sub .300 OBP's.
    We miss you Mike.

  11. #41
    Vaz will have some struggles this year getting his swing back and continue building his offense as he was when he got hurt. Also needs to get his throwing accuracy back a little too. The Pop time and arm strength seems to be just like it was before the TJS, so thats encouraging.
    Vaz has a Good line drive swing with gap to gap power as we saw last night with that triple. Over the next couple years i believe his offense will improve and we will no longer have to have this conversation about his bat...

  12. #42
    Vasquez is hitting enough to let his glove play - this is most likely what he is - and that makes him a solid starter.

    Now what the article says about Swihart is absolutely right. If Swihart grows into an above average catcher - he has a much higher ceiling because of a much better bat. And yes, it makes sense while Swihart is up here to rotate him behind the plate from time to time. There is a solid chance that he will have a better career than Vasquez. But I don't blame the Sox for making the "right now" decision here.

    I also have serious issues with the article's thesis that Farrell is behind the itchy trigger with the kiddos. That is/was above his pay grade.

  13. #43
    Quote Originally Posted by southpaw777 View Post
    Vaz will have some struggles this year getting his swing back and continue building his offense as he was when he got hurt. Also needs to get his throwing accuracy back a little too. The Pop time and arm strength seems to be just like it was before the TJS, so thats encouraging.
    Vaz has a Good line drive swing with gap to gap power as we saw last night with that triple. Over the next couple years i believe his offense will improve and we will no longer have to have this conversation about his bat...
    I see it this way too.
    "Hating the Yankees like it's a religion since 94'" RIP Mike.


    "It's also a simple and indisputable fact that WAR isn't the be-all end-all in valuations, especially in real life. Wanna know why? Because an ace in run-prevention for 120 innings means more often than not, a sub-standard pitcher covering for the rest of the IP that pitcher fails to provide. You can't see value in a vacuum when a player does not provide full-time production."

  14. #44
    Quote Originally Posted by User Name? View Post
    The league average catcher and coincidentally Vasquez, is producing a .669 OPS at the MLB level. Considering there's room for improvement from a guy who missed a full year of development, labeliing him an auto-out is a bit of stretch, specially when so many regulars (including guys who play other, more offensively demanding positions) sport sub .300 OBP's.
    If the league average is so low you're effectively an automatic out then I don't think being league average makes you not an automatic out. Vas has had a couple clutch hits though.

    I was always pro Swihart long term, because I envisioned his defense becoming average to above average with an elite bat for the position. Now that player still might be in him but I think I've come over to the pro Vasquez camp now. This offense is just too good, we can afford (easily) to have Vasquez in there with what he brings behind the plate defensively; his defense has tremendous value back there.

    Also, I do think there is room for improvement in his bat as well.

  15. #45
    Vas never hit well in the minors but after some time to adjust he always hit good enough to if he carries that same progression to the MLB level he will eventually be an above average MLB hitter (for a catcher) as well. And with his arm and pitch framing skills that just adds too much value to give up behind the plate.

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