Boston Red Sox Prospect Report: Catchers
Jason Varitek has done alot in his time with Boston, but as Varitek ages the Red Sox will have to begin looking for a new catcher within their own system. They will also have to test a thin market of catchers.
Kevin Cash, Position: 2, Age 30
The first prospect is back up catcher and Tim Wakefields personal catcher, Kevin Cash. Cash is finishing up his first full season with Boston in the majors. Cash has had a somewhat successful first season with the big club. Cash is currently hitting .231, and has a below average on-base percentage of .311. Like Varitek Cash's strengths are in his defense.
He has proven that he can catch a knuckler, which means that he can basically catch anything. His bat on the other hand is his weak link. He has a hard time putting the bat on the ball, but has shown good pop when he does connect. He has shown the ability to take pitches and work a walk.
David Ross, Position: 2, Age 31
David Ross is very similar to cash with his defensive abilities. However Ross has shown the ability to hit the long ball. In 2006 Ross hit 21 home runs with the Reds and in 2007 Ross hot 17 homers.
Ross has a very strong arm and calls a great game behind the dish. Ross struggles to make contact, but has alot of power when he connects. Ross strikes out alot against the hard stuff, but has shown that he can reach base at an average rate.
George Kottaras, Position: 2, Age 25
Kottaras is an offensive minded catcher who has the potential to hit somewhere from 20-25 pops a year. He has great plate discipline, which is key if he wants to be the next starting catcher for Boston. He can be a bit to patient though. He will make the pitcher pay if he makes a mistake. He hasn't shown the ability to make consistent contact. He has become a heavy pull hitter, which could work to his advantage with the monster in left.
He has struggled defensively. He doesn't call a great game, struggles to throw out runners, and doesn't have a great glove. These skills have improved however in his time in the Boston farm system. Kottaras does have experience catching the knuckleball. Kottaras has shown great improvements in his short time with Boston. He still may need a couple of years before he gets the call, but Varitek might be done by the time this guy is ready. He could be somewhere around the likes of a Greg Zaun.
Dusty Brown, Position: 2, Age 26
Brown is a defensive catcher with a very strong arm. He calls a very good game and works well with the pitcher. He has a good bat, with average plate discipline. Lacks speed, but has a strong build.
At this point it looks as if he will be a solid back in the majors, but if he improves his bat he could be a starter some day.
Mark Wagner, Position: 2, Age 24
Wagner is a strong defensive catcher. He has a great arm and is a very good blocker. He calls a very good game, but needs work on framing. He was projected to be a big time catcher, but his skills have slowed this past year. He makes decent, but somewhat inconsistent contact.
He has a swing well suited for Fenway with the monster in left. His skills are all above average. The next couple of years will decide whether or not he will be a successful catcher in the majors. If he continues to get better he should end up around the lines of a Brad Ausmus.
Boston Red Sox (MLB):
George Kottaras, Back Up
Free Agent/Trade/ Acquisition, Starter
Kevin Cash/ David Ross Third String
Pawtucket Paw Sox (AAA)
Kevin Cash/ David Ross Starter
Dusty Brown/ Mark Wagner Backup
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