Derick E. Hingle-US PRESSWIRE
Baseball Prospectus: fourth
I personally thought Kelly Shoppach was going to be been traded at the deadline, paving the way for 24-year-old catching prospect Ryan Lavarnway to take a spot in the Red Sox lineup.
That didn’t happen, and it appeared Lavarnway was destined to spend the majority of the second half of the season in Pawtucket.
But a simple tweet on Wednesday from Brian MacPherson of the Providence Journal told Red Sox fans otherwise:
And Scott Lauber of the Boston Herald followed with how Lavarnway would be used:
There was room on the roster to call up Lavarnway because Daniel Nava was placed on the 15-day DL with a wrist sprain (h/t ESPN).
Lavarnway is known for his power. It is his defense that remains questionable. It's that reason more than anything else that kept him down in Pawtucket.
It is unclear how long Lavarnway will stay with the big club, but according to Joe McDonald of ESPNBoston.com, "It’s quite possible Red Sox catching prospect Ryan Lavarnway will never see the minor leagues again."
Chris Mellen of SoxProspects.com notes, “There may come a point when his bat will be too hard to keep off the roster and his defense simply is what it is.”
And because of his bat, MLB.com ranks Lavarnway as the fifth best catching prospect in baseball.
Last season, in time split between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket, Lavarnway hit .290, with 32 home runs and 93 RBI.
He even had a brief stint with Boston during the end of 2011. In 17 games with the Red Sox, Lavarnway hit .231, with two home runs and eight RBI.
This season at Pawtucket, Lavarnway has hit .295, with eight home runs and 43 RBI.
With Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Shoppach firmly holding onto the catching duties in Boston, it will be interesting to see just how the Red Sox use Lavarnway the rest of this season.
Next spring is when things should get very interesting for Boston’s catching corps. Saltalamacchia has had a nice year at the plate with 20 home runs and 46 RBI. But his defense and his .236 batting average leave a lot to be desired.
It is time for the Red Sox to give the 24-year-old Lavarnway an extended stay at the major league level.