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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Welcome -- -- and welcome to the future. This is quickly becoming the year of the farm system for the Red Sox with a promotion of McKee that's in the big leagues on Saturday. The team is relying on its young players and passion unseen for years and arguably even for decades. Pepsi -- Bogart's about 241 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 and it 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. Talent guys have to go through the simplest of it and do right away some ardent. They don't they're ready to get through that and so were. We're trying to. We're trying to improve return. Improve the team build a better team and think you can be part of it and we wouldn't call him up but we didn't think he could. Come and contribute right away. You know who knows for sure so -- still plays -- -- we need gun shy about calling up the young players we believe. Even though we know you know. Nobody knows for sure how how quickly. Success. We also wouldn't follow up 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 Betsy 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 -- high -- Salem to the Arizona Fall League double a Portland AAA Pawtucket. It 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. You now that's just think about that long ago that it. Maybe not at this point but not too long ago was in Greenville you know touched here and I mean yes that's been costly pack and unpack in my car than cinema cars just -- taxes though all the but I mean that's a blessing just to be able to go through the through all levels and now be at this point. So I want you to Tommy what most significant transition is at every level that you've moved too because. It doesn't look from a performance and -- it doesn't look like there's there's been a hard adjustment four rate like you're hitting the ground running each time you move up which -- a credit to you. So I'm I'm just curious aim to double attack Heidi when you went to Salem last year was most difficult part about just. So -- just the pitching being. Pitching gets better each day teaching every level. Another and another side of the mean they said throw the ball over the plate no matter who's up there is you know. Still -- home -- -- -- white balls so you know that's that's pretty much alassane but it. Again credit to these pictures mean immunity to older -- guys that know how to pitch. I mean catches that now 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 the bar I was I was doubly different for. Aside from the fact that that was the time when you decided to hit 400 for a month for the percent. Some. 98 -- -- -- I didn't I didn't notice that I'm and I'm sure they they did they did. But I mean I 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 can't be successful there. But here's. Here's AAA. I don't really know what -- they they pitching different each at bat so. It's easy you gotta get no matter what abetted you gotta get a good -- it and that's. That's the main regulatory gains I've learned that experience that he may get three or -- any games so. That's that's pretty different. How do you explain that and 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. Done had the success that. But I just. In just -- development approach and sticking to it and just. Learn to believe myself that that I belong out here and that not just these older guys and I just found out and say OK 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 you variances. It's it's interesting to hear you say that because you know we talked about how you're on the fence about whether or not to sign out of high school right figuring out whether or not you 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 gonna be young at any level that I play -- still I still have an opportunity really get. It. 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 replacing lead -- plan. And I mean that's pretty much same thing I've taken each what was going on plane has gone on plan and it. Scenes. When you got the word that they wanted to start playing some center field. How how exciting was that -- I imagine -- like it's like okay -- right now now this is you know. We've Hewitt talked Hewitt you've been well aware of the reality Dustin Pedroia going to be 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 what's the other stuff. It's pretty much mean with the this goes because. I can just go do -- -- news and make them go by senator bill. Yeah shows us with the AGCO I don't know. But the plan is -- -- -- gotten play in the knocked Tennessee and -- Tennessee you know. It was -- and it helped me progress little faster and but now I'm here you know -- still still trying to progress and and not night -- complacent -- where am. Now that you have gotten within one mobile 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's what's being ready for that level is but I'm but if I was to get the call -- us again. I feel like -- better for Oden in our means. And fair off -- single play thing way all the other managers say. And in that the solid -- that -- figured out Ramon. When you are thinking about signing like guys have you know guys have goals in mind guys think about you know -- my career might unfold this way -- that way. Did you have a a timetable for yourself that you -- I wanna make it to the major leagues by. X here by our cemetery and tax. You know when Epstein. Again. Dual sport contracts of five years. And I -- myself. And I'm influenced -- years and get out because there's no way am of them and these guys come. But but once that started seeing analysts success and started saying that Bakken play. I didn't really necessarily have a a timetable ledges and on one and it -- sooner soon sooner than later. How would you describe your own potential at this point I have I have no idea I mean I mean it's. Getting to the indignities that is hard but I've talked to guys in this that is not getting -- -- staying in the league so. Thumb getting there -- -- can get there at some point but. My experience there'll will determine you know whether it will stay there. That's that that thing that's part. Am excited to see you know. How I can effect I can play for a period of time in. Be able stamp. How much danger -- affecting your guy who can impact the game in a number of ways. You know someone here there aren't a lot of guys in the minor leagues who -- 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 -- -- and played you know into. 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 the game and any number of -- Because it's -- and the hidden but -- have the -- Make some plays about pitchers. Keep us in the game and I mean playing defense terrible when one day. I like coming here it didn't score runs it's been so. Even if this is -- known careers Butler -- the game ran bases that are in some way affluent and expecting. That it. It feels great on that because although -- team down -- -- Effectiveness effectiveness. So. Rookie you're going to be playing in not enemies we ballpark when where the other -- next month since the futures game is going to be in. In target field but -- -- closely are you. Are you. There are a lot of people who are falling and David devices wondering is who you gonna get because who can difficult do you -- just -- that ever. Yeah I mean. That people at home thanks -- thing. Gonna have to have tickets analysis and I'm like you got united in there you know and night 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 ask about it that I don't think enough to have. You you can't fighter a timetable. Now out -- days when an arrogant Coughlin. Straight ahead we'll hear from Christian Vazquez. In 1950 to mark his parents drove her home in their brand spanking new -- just to ensure this BP outfit called gaga. In 1967. Chad got a far out policy from Geico and saved themselves some good pieces grid that. In 1984. -- -- -- got the fire -- went from her home I was on a fat with a PH insurance policy from -- -- the amount -- over the past 75 years the expressions of change but one thing hasn't saving money with Geico. Despite some of the lumps that they're talented young players have taken the Red Sox aren't shying away from their faith in their talented prospects. McKee that's a cult 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 Vazquez is hitting 265. With a 318 on base percentage and 360 ones like market talk it. But he's actually shown a mature approach at the plate as a hitter that -- more impressive than those numbers might suggest. In defensively he's been nothing short of spectacular true throughout his minor league career. Big league veteran Rich Hill who's currently in -- told me flatly that Vasquez is a big -- right now here's how Vazquez describes his experience in -- -- -- physically you know club we have a lot of veteran guys here's our good pitchers you know. And that other teams. It starts have been here is going to be he's going to be tough and learned quickly move to hit. Her 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 in clay when they were down -- the both -- 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 connect. 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 me too. One. Thing. Is. You know -- more students. Utley everyday and keep learning to -- defective right fingers and you learn and would it does here lately so you know and a lot of spears and it leaks and I think I'm content and earning every. 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. Chris Vasquez -- density game changer on the plate. For Red Sox team that could use you know kind of they could use something -- like are you mindful of that of that possibility of the idea that. Your name is being connected is being thought of -- site. Christian might be ready to help them -- partners. You know -- -- -- and instant lately my game. When this time is you know for. Went into. Put you can't control of the opportunity comes rate -- 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 can play in a long time in the big leagues you know. Columbia tomorrow they you know everybody wanna live big leagues but. You know on. You know called to call me you know to -- When the time his -- you know. Is this an exciting time in your -- 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 working really well with the pitchers but. Know there have been some there have been 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 insert in short order you've been -- couple bombs lately. -- -- clearly a food -- don't know mentally and follow us drone motivated you know trying to do too much in the -- And I concentrate now -- -- to the middle of the field with a better. You know I don't -- -- -- fortunately you know. We're going my swing -- they'd be able. To its stay quiet in my mind body. And you know is is working now -- very good man woes continue to do that. Let's be an 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 the Brandon -- are doing so on the matrix right now to a knuckleballer like Steven -- -- shows up here and he starts dominating. How how fun is has -- been just working with this group of guys give -- the consistency you've seen from your start. It's good is a lot of foreign you know. See that you know of 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 be -- see him in the big you're doing well. So let's let's talk about a few of those pictures why has -- 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 drawings right below was front and attacking the zone over the possible this was throwing hard you know. And his love and you know controlling the changes and that's the second pitches. And is doing Goodman you know control -- what you can control in the disgraceful you know be on the control arm. 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 -- things message he gets him on his change up 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 lawless kind of you know when the father day that hitters at noon day. Waiting for the folks don't they know. They like the village when a lot -- -- When the fellas there they hit it you know I'm no model would -- well 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 rain now you know he's throwing a lot of straight you know implement in this in this race on. A lot of files in all it's on a thoughtful and Pro Bowl -- right. In only these fools. Collectible. And a lot of pitches and he's working -- this letter and now. Is we're. You know Megan. So this -- is just to give them a different plane you know and servicers it's more of -- slider and -- Yeah only curb and you know in something else -- -- itself. And all I think this -- is going to be good. And how about -- about. Aren't you know he's side he's a guy who's you know you worked with him last year obviously I mean he's been you know -- -- a solar 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. This stuff yeah of course his mind. Was a slow. Thornton was like 495. And -- -- is bad you know and -- -- you know. For me for me and it's who have no control of what he can control aren't gonna continue working hard. You you you 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 its. It. Pitches his tenure as -- 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. You're 23 years old right now you are in Europe you know this is your seventh pro season right -- -- 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 2008. You know it's at this point where you know where you're you're kind of you know I I think it's fair to say knock him. It's it's a sole owner you know did that 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 this it's owner to be here on in the -- Thanks to Chris investors and rookie bats for during this week's show. To hear the complete interview is what both checked the minor details podcasts at W yet dot com slash podcast. Thinks to outrageously helpful producer of Saturday and they'll get to -- and all of you for listening catch you next week.