Jun 29, 2014|
The call-up of Mookie Betts underscores the Red Sox' growing commitment to their prospect core. His arrival signals a Red Sox organization whose willingness to live through the transitions of their young talents to the majors remains unabated. Betts, interviewed days before his call-up, and Christian Vazquez join the show to discuss their readiness for the big leagues.
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Welcomed -- -- and welcome to the future. This is quickly becoming a year of the farm system for the Red Sox with a promotion of McKee best in the big leagues on Saturday. The team is relying on its young players and passion unseen for years and arguably even for decades. Texans -- Bogart's are -- 41 year old rookies are born six days apart in 1992. Buchholz the 26 year old rookie the team has spent most of the first three months of the year with 24 year old at Jackie Bradley junior patrolling center field. Brandon Workman and -- tiller -- obviously have been relied upon heavily in the rotation. Here's how GM bench Harrington explains the Red Sox reliance on their young players in the decision to promote pets. Even when the transition doesn't go. As well as you want -- in the short term it's still an investment in. You know talent guys have to go through at some -- somewhere -- the right Lewis and -- And if they don't they're ready to get through that and so were. We're trying to. We're trying to improve were trying to. Improve the team build a better team and think you can be part of it and we wouldn't call him up we didn't think he could. Come and contribute right away. You know who knows for sure so he still plays -- -- we need gun shy about calling up a young player -- we believe and even though we know you know. Nobody knows for sure how how quickly. Success -- We also wouldn't call -- some reason. Have reasonably could be successful right away and that's been cases all the. The promotion of bats as well as as well as this influx of youth is -- striking development for the Red Sox. And frankly it probably isn't done well look at another player who may be contributing to the Red Sox in the big leagues before too long shortly. But first we'll explore what life on the fast track has been like for -- keydets. I sat down with -- at McCoy stadium on Wednesday just a few days before his column. To discuss the dizzying progress that he's made across six levels from single a Greenville high a Salem to the Arizona Fall League double -- Portland triple A Pawtucket. And now finally the big leagues in the span of fifteen months or at least the doorstep of the big leagues and we're talking. Now for starters all of this movement raises a practical question. Has he unpacked. No. Now that's just think about that long ago that it. Maybe not at this point but not too long ago was in -- you know touched here and I mean yes that's been costly pack and unpack in my car than Sonoma cars just -- taxes though all the but I mean that's a blessing just to be able to go to the through all levels and now be at this point. So I want you to tell me what most significant transition is at every level that you've moved to because. It doesn't look from a performance and when it doesn't look like there's there's been a hard adjustment for him right like you're hitting the ground running each time you move up which is a credit to you. So I'm I'm just curious a to double its how high game when you went to Salem last year was most difficult part of that just. So I just the pitching I mean. Pitching gets better each day teaching every level. Another and another side of the mean they sent the ball over the plate no matter who's up there is you know. Still -- home placed -- -- white ball so you know that's that's pretty much all the same but. Again credit to these pitchers mean immunity -- older -- guys that know how to pitch. I mean catches that -- out of what with what's gonna get guys out I think that's been the main. The main difference so when you go to -- a -- you know I guess action when he gets a double play. Are you starting to experience -- game planning for you or trying to attack you in a specific way that hadn't really presented itself in a -- I was I was totally different story. Aside from the fact that that was the time when you decided to hit 400 for a month for the first. Hum. No idea -- I didn't I didn't notice that I'm and I'm sure they they did they did. But I mean I didn't. Really notice it until later later once. And struggled but you know and -- -- and but I started noticing. Tendencies that they started doing that kind of picked up on that and that's while they would. Still kind of be successful there. But here's. Here in AAA. I don't really know what -- they they're pitching different each at bat so. It's easy you gotta give no matter what advantage you gotta get a good pitch it and that's. That's the main -- long for a game I've learned that experience that he may get three or four any games so. That's that's pretty different. How do you explain that in the fact that you've been able to sustain the kind of numbers that have become familiar at this point you know through this transition to talk. I have no idea I have no idea. How have done had the success that. But I just. In just Chan development approach and sticking to it and just. Learn to believe in myself that that I belong out here and that not just these older guys and I just found out and say okay guys in order. You know you go ahead you know I've thought damn I'm not here I'm ready to play the same way everybody else's. It's it's interesting to hear you say that because you know we talked about how you're on the fence about whether -- not to sign out of high school right figuring out whether or not Q were you felt like you were prepared. To compete at that level. My guess there's probably a little bit of uncertainty when you're starting out lol about whether or not you're going to be. Able to be at that level and then. You know when that went at it clicked for you that hey you know I don't care that I am young like I'm going to be young at any level that I play -- still I still have an opportunity really get. -- Probably. Kind of Salem looks like at the Salem. Miles young I was young there but. You know they welcome. This month we had great teammates and they welcome me over open arms great coaches that they say go out there plays and we didn't plan. And I mean that's pretty much same thing I've taken each what was going on plane is gone I'm playing in this. Scenes. When you got the word that they when you start playing some center field. How how exciting was that because I imagine that like it's like OK -- right now now this -- you know. We've Hewitt talked Hewitt you've been well aware of the reality Dustin Pedroia going to be a second baseman for the Red Sox until like 2300. Europe blows up or something. You know was was that exciting or was there a little bit of like them let's see how this -- It's pretty much mean with the this goes because. I can just go do -- LA news and make them go play center field. Yeah those days with the -- goes I don't know. But the plan is you know it's gotten play in the -- Tennessee can knock Tennessee you know. It was it was and it helped me progress a little faster and but now I'm here you know -- still still trying to progress and and not not get complacent and weren't where I am. Now that you have gotten within one -- the major leagues. How confident are you did you know that the next transition is one that did you can handle as well thumb. I don't know -- transition is the I don't know. What -- what -- what being ready for that level is but I'm but if I was to get the call unitas again. I feel like -- better for Oden in our means. Fair off those -- say go play the same way all the other managers say. And in that the solid d.s they'll play and figured out Ramon. When you are thinking about signing like guys have you know guys have goals in mind guys think about you know like my career might unfold this way -- that way. Did you have a and a timetable for yourself that you -- I wanna make it to the major leagues by. -- here by by the cemetery and tax. You know when Epstein. Again. Duels -- contract so the five years. And I tell myself. And I'm gonna -- -- five years and get out because there's no way on him and these guys come. But but once that started seeing -- the success started seeing them back and play. I didn't really necessarily have a timetable ledges and on one and it may sooner sooner sooner than later. How would you describe your own potential at this point I have I have no idea I am I mean it's. Getting to indignities that is hard but I've talked to guys in this that is not getting -- -- staying in the league so. Thumb getting there -- like. -- and get there at some point but. My experience there will determine you know whether it stay there. That's that that they that's part. Am excited to see you know. How I can affect how I can play for a period of time in. Be able -- How much danger of affecting your guy who can impact the game in a number of plays. You know someone here there aren't a lot of guys in the minor leagues who hit you know who has many home runs as you do have the kind of extra base -- you -- still the number of bases you do. Get on base the way you do you know lately and and play you know and your defense also you know it's also been -- head turner right certainly didn't change at second base didn't sounds like you've been making a pretty seamless transition to center field. How much how much do you enjoy that idea that you can affect your game and any number of -- Because it's a I'm in the hit that feeling at the -- Make some plays bound pitchers. Keep us in the game and I mean playing defense terrible 11 day. I like coming here hit it and score runs -- -- so. I'm even if this is its own careers at the kicking game -- bases that are in some way Affeldt and expecting. That it. It feels great on that because of violent team down -- one -- and a -- back. Effectiveness effectiveness. So. Rookie I that you're going to be playing in not in a Major League ballpark when where the other side next month since the futures game is going to be in. In target field but I -- closely are you. Are you. There are a lot of people who are falling and David Duke faces wondering is moved he gonna get because you can get how do you Q -- self that ever. Yeah I mean. Got people at home takes me you know thing. Gonna have to have tickets analysis and I'm like you got united in there you know and tonight and there. You know I haven't. I really -- back home because you know have a big fan base and you know really really appreciate what they have they been following mean watching these games and everything you know. I really appreciate that but come. Yeah I've I've had people ask asked about it that I don't think the Mets have. You you can't fighter -- timetable. Now out on days when an arrogant coughed it up. Straight ahead well here from Christian Vasquez. In nineteen good to mark his parents drove her home in their brand spanking new group they just insure that spiffy outfit cold -- because. In 1967. Chad got a far out policy from Geico I saved himself some good decent grid that. In 1984. Now and we got the -- when -- went from her home -- -- on a fat with a PH insurance policy from -- words the amount of over the past 75 years the expressions of change but one thing hasn't saving money with Geico. Despite some of the ones that they're talented young players have taken the Red Sox aren't shying away from their faith in their talented prospects. -- that's a -- on Saturday offered the latest indication that. So who's next. At a time when the teams to veteran catchers have been struggling David Ross and AJ Pierzynski the team -- a catcher who looks ready if called upon. The 22 year old Christian Vasquez is hitting 265. With a 318 on base percentage and 3621 slugging mark in the tuck it. But he actually showed a mature approach at the plate as a hitter that has more impressive than those numbers might suggest. And defensively he's been nothing short of spectacular true throughout his minor league career. Big league veteran Rich Hill is currently in Pawtucket told me flatly that Vazquez is a big -- right now here's how Vazquez describes his experience in -- Just love physically you know club we have a lot of veteran guys here's -- -- that pitchers now. That other teams and it starts have been here is going to be he's going to be tough and learned quick news to hit and you're in the game here in the big leagues and abuse. What's it been like working with working with some of the major leaguers coming through here in rehab assignment I know it you you cut I think you you -- did you catch the starts of both Felix and I. In clay when they were down -- the both playing you know there. That isn't how is it getting there is it just like spring training basically or. You know or given that you know is it is that a kind of different working experience with bout with the starters -- For me you know assessing feature isn't going to be you know you need to be more constant in the game because. They know they what they know what they're doing there and is is this Spears who. You play catch and then in the game and is on. And you would think that I've been thinking about a lot is how how difficult you know the responsibility to protect her amazing race like having to figure out. Game planning having to figure out execution lining it up with. You know what you're seeing from a pitcher any given day all of that stuff like is there. How much do you think it -- challenging transition do you think it is to be a catcher. At the Major League level how ready do you feel to be a catcher at the Major -- One. Thing. Is. You know again Austrians. Utley everyday and keep learning to -- right fingers and you learn on and would it does here lately so you know they have a lot of Spears and new leagues and I think I'm content and earning every. Coming on. I mean part of the reason I ask is because there's there's been you know you're name is you know is in the minds of a lot of people in in Boston -- people who watch the Red Sox. Saying you know. Christian Vasquez -- density game changer on the plate. For Red Sox team that could use you know kind of they could use something right like are you mindful of that of that possibility of the idea that. Your name is being connected is he thought of -- like. Christian might be ready to help in the big leagues there's. You know I've heard a book and Vincent lately my game. Today. When -- -- you know for. Went into. Put you can't control of the opportunity comes right like that's that's you're you're not in front office. But you know you can control whether or not you're ready when the time comes so that's that's why it's worth asking -- from an offensive standpoint. In a defense it's important to you feel like you're ready I think I'm ready. -- and I like to play in a long time in the big leagues you know. Columbia tomorrow they you know everybody wanna live the big leagues but. You know on. You know called to call me you know to the big leagues. When the time he's done you know. Is this an exciting time in your career just the fact that you what you're you know you're now one level away the fact that you are. You've been performing well here you know in a way. That's is working really well with the pitchers but. Know there have been some -- some really good offensive stretches here too you know probably not as consistent as you line. Right there have been some you know you've been I know that there are a lot of people who notice when for instance out of the gate this year. You're putting a charge in some balls are showing a little bit of -- tower. You're dead and a bunch of doubles inserts in certain guys in short order you've been hitting couple bombs lately. -- us clearly a food grin don't know mentally and although a strong motivated you know trying to do too much in the play. And I concentrate now -- go for the middle of the field for the better and you know I don't want -- to fortunately you know. We're -- my swing -- they'd be accountable and you know it's a quiet moment in my body. And you know this is working now they're very good man close continue to do that. That's been interesting group that you had a chance to work with down here I mean it seems like everyone who you've been. Who's been throwing to you and I mean we're talking about a pretty broad spectrum from. You never read tolerances of the world and the Brandon Workman Stuart doing so well in the major leagues right now to a knuckleballer like Steven -- it's shows up here and he starts dominating. How how fun has has it been just working with this group of guys give and the consistency you've seen from your start. It's good is a lot of foreign you know. See that you know the progress on them. And is. Undecided -- you know they doing good in the big leagues you know -- you know my brother I love it. Well we load you know we have a good relationship and we know each other and this is fun to see -- see him in the big league doing well. So let's let's talk about a few of those pitchers why is -- what. What did you see from ruby here that's what you that he was going to be able to kind of do some of the things he has been doing in the major leagues. I don't throwing strikes deal was front and attacking the zone you know with a possible this was throwing hard you know. And his love and you know controlling the Cedeno and that's the second pitches. And is doing Goodman you know control you know what you can control. The strike zone -- be on the control -- It's. I'm happy to him and I was doing good. It's odd to me because you know you see there aren't a lot of starters who can just throw ninety when they want to. Doesn't get a ton of swings and misses with his fastball in the big leagues was he getting a lot of swings and message he gets him on his changeup a lot. Down here was that was that was -- using his pitch at the same. Yeah did he he did throw more change I think it's all all -- send him you know on Father's Day that hitters at noon day. Waiting for the -- you know they know. They like the bullets won a lot -- -- When the -- there they hit it you know I'm no model what what miles you know. You throw it. -- is doing Goodman. That. -- has been really consistent for you especially of late. Have you seen apart over the course of the season him taking steps forward you some last year as well so it's worth asking how different is he with a chip in last. Yes very good and that -- now you know he's throwing a lot of straight you know implement in this this race on. A lot of thoughtfully and throwing well thought of the Pro Bowl -- right. You know only he -- Collectible. And a lot of pitches and he's working on this letter and now and we're. You know negated. So this lighters just to give them a different plane you know and -- it's more of a slider and cutter. Yeah only curb and you know in something else to that in itself. And all I think this -- is going to be good. And how about -- about. -- you know he's side he's a guy who's you know you've worked with him last year obviously I mean he's been you know he get a shoulders you know shoulder injury in spring and so. He said earlier this year that his power. Wasn't quite back to where he's used to being are you seeing his power you know of the power in my. So yeah of course his mind. Was a slow. Thornton was like 495. I think his bag you know -- -- you know. For me for me and it's who have no control of what he can control aren't gonna continue working hard. Yeah. You you view I think had a chance to -- to catch Henry Owens last year. He was unhittable last year and he's done the same this year -- the guy like that does not give up -- -- You know a lot of pitches his tenure as a home aluminum. You know. When guys are going to be good in the future. And now is doing good is doing great -- -- it as a -- this has seen. Soon. Follow -- -- if you're still here by the time he gets to not the Coca. You're 23 years old right now you are in Europe you know this is your seventh pro season right you're drafted in 2008. You know -- How far have you come from the time when you signed as a seventeen year old kid in that summer of 2000 me. You know it's at this point where you know where you're you're kind of you know I mean I think it's fair to say knock him. -- It's a sole owner you know did Doug terrorists you know. You know getting better every day and working. -- in myself on and on my -- is how we need to run. You know just it's owner to be here comes in the door. Thanks to Chris investors and McKee that's for during this week's show. To hear the complete interview is what both checked the minor details podcasts at W yet dot com site podcast. Thinks to outrageously helpful producer of Saturday and they'll -- -- -- and all of you for listening catch you next week.