Aug 3, 2014|
Chad Epperson joins Alex to give an update on the catchers in the Sox farm system including Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez and his work with them.
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Where back -- down on the farm and Chad Epperson has been the Red Sox catching coordinator since 2010. Helping to shape the current wave of Red Sox catching prospects. Suffice to say that this is a very exciting time for him as the Red Sox make the transition to a homegrown wave of -- after having veteran guys coming in after the last few years. You've now seen what Christian Vasquez can do behind the plate Blake's -- hard is emerging as the consensus best prospect in the game. And yesterday and unheralded favorite of the Red Sox player development system. Got to cement his unlikely path with the call up to the big leagues joined now by Chad Epperson. Red Sox catching coordinator coordinator. Chad when you have a guy like Dan Butler who was undrafted out of college make it to the big leagues what is that moment like for you as as the guy who's been working with them. For almost the entirety of his professional career. Well it's great you know obviously for him you know the guys. You know we almost background I come there and then it's got to and it worked at the certain the non. -- passion for the game and you know we edition Grilli won about -- and professional way and you know when you don't have the stats and other guys that you mention -- achieved before I shut it down with a stacked it is -- Person -- and you know introduce. Really happened toward being able to say you know I'm in the big ones. What was the first time that he emerged on your radar as being a potential big leader of when he kind of moved beyond that OK I side I signed for five grand not for five million. I you know I was a guy who was a backup catcher in college when did he nonetheless assert himself to you as being a guy who. Holy smokes this this may be a big -- Thought they are happening more than I caught it I don't know the lord they -- secure here but I don't more than expect caught. You know part -- You know solid but there aren't players just being dependable and that's what this guy that you know there are dependable -- would call them and just goes by their government be what sparked their Sergio is gonna run game you know they could do. You bought all -- -- ball very well so it just became you know. Where time after time at the time here you're here and play. Normally start all about that stuff you know when and the organization. Does an outstanding job you know well. I just look in -- you know top priority guys you know these these guys -- -- the but you know a lot Earl Red Sox and you know we're not been treated by their related you know your reds suck it Morgan's in there. You don't -- And boy out. Talking to Chad -- Red Sox pitching coordinator Dan Butler has now has now arrived in the big leagues which is that which is a bit of a landmark and you know he's not the -- unheralded guy. Coming up who is now on the Red Sox who's now Red Sox catcher Christian Vazquez was in ninth rounder when he was taken as a seventeen year old. Out of high school in Puerto Rico you started working with him in 2010 which was his first year in Greenville. When did you first look at Vazquez as a guy you said this guy could be not just not just a big leaguer but may be an elite defender. Well -- -- Christian out of notre monsoon like since he was brilliant on the you know and that it it's a process we get to where is that now and you know he just needed to get reps and understand the position and the demands of the -- and you know that. That takes time you know at seventy years old we don't expect anybody would be able to. Do that so you know the more -- cheek and obviously we -- the ability and some action that you wanted to seat so he's obviously got a lot of reps -- -- -- And and then you don't hear I hear is you know crushing kind of figured out what it took. And know every time you know we. Felt like we did challenging -- -- to another level or two. All season something are basically -- -- -- you don't expect continued to rise to the occasion then and almost like kick it into another gear -- and so you know all that. Gotta put together epic as an organization. So like this that was ready to go -- -- he's he's very comfortable out there right now. -- -- such an interest in player development path when it's like the guy looks like it when the guy is that emerges as kind of a better and better prospect. When his performance level increases even as he's moving up the latter. Is -- is that kind of a product of of him having had having started at a very young age and so maybe kind of getting on to the other side of -- learning curve. You know that I'm sure -- -- -- do without that -- their you know he he had -- the opportunity to look up. Spend the cup we're in big league camp and obviously probably a little bit more than that in spring training that sports. You know being one -- -- -- it was not a ruptured go over and help out so I think you bills broke on our big guys know him. That have been around -- vote what the Red Sox note it would camp so I think he got a good and I -- One of these guys that didn't that would not going to be scared to. Go out there and play your game you know and that's all we try to -- guys don't change anything and get out there there's going to be enough you know adrenaline and then and emotions that you're gonna -- that I'm actually just been a bit. We don't change things and I think what Barrett be good metal -- does not change saying. Because so well Marshall a little bit more and you able part of that. You know that effort level and there and be productive with the -- He does a remarkable job of taking charge of the game from behind the plate I think that he's. As much as anyone you'll see you can kind of get a sense for him as a field general. That set so I don't mean to obscure the overall. Body of what he's able to do behind the plate that said the thing it's always going to stand out is watching this guy throw. We I was I was there and you're there in spring training. When he had that had turner a couple of years ago about the one point 77 home the second time. Which is way above average is that the best time you've clocked a met at this point. -- in the -- had to a cup all that you know not sure you that watch it right I'm not there you go really let up a numbing. Know he's capable of doing that you know I I don't wanna say that. You know we wanted to give an avid dog that we you know we want to Canada I'm sure they -- -- keeping -- You know look. A good rhythm tempo but it it's nice note he's got them back popular Beverly. He loves picking guys off is is that have you would you would you encourage that -- of you know of really being aggressive trying to cut guys off. On the bases not just you know not just controlling the running game from the Cubs -- perspective but really trying to trying to get guys are already on base. I -- you identify the guys that you know maybe you know try to. Being a little bit more aggressive secondary and and weaken or try to do encryption that really good job that we keep a guy on that. And put it in the back in mind that you know the structure will back pick in the first base coach Kirk -- Matt. Yeah I think it and that slowed him down just a -- I think we've done a good Robert Ehrlich would pick you guys are. Even if we you know throw over there -- -- there are some quarter where it's on the opposition. And that this -- will back there so it kind of slow them down and we get a -- out by a look at second base or third but it's whatever so it is up oil weapon. Talking to Red Sox catching coordinator Chad Epperson Blake's Y hard is now hitting 300 he's getting on base he has a dozen homers. He's throwing out over half of the guys who tried to steal on him it is catching a pitching staff that's been ridiculously good this year in Portland. Have you ever seen a catcher with the overall tools that he. Gilbert special to get him and he's very athletic. You know the guy and he he came in to. You know our Red Sox organization and a vote so that -- got to -- -- -- in the perspective -- Know handle the workload and -- -- -- she's sort out who this guy you know great talent out there and what Mubarak the next one and he is just so what do on the watch -- you know Billups open every single night that -- that -- -- harder to do that whether walk -- right handed batter popped what they have battered buck. You don't make it grow up back there you don't make that. A church. On a pop up that has no business and there is always able to do that and it's been special. But he if you don't use a point now that you don't you start and understand GOP's go to. You know been fortunate that aspect in this organization not only a lawyer. Portland and you know it's been a great tool for our organization you're saying that what -- state. And nobody's got the body and Latin. Girl. You know -- it in their own ways and special ones you know. Bigger it's bigger than the ball and they're gonna get the trip. John I'm gonna finish by putting you on the spot -- -- looks like he's going to be pretty good. Vazquez looks like he's pretty good back combat -- back by the plate so an awkward spot you can't have two pitchers on the fuel at the same time as much as you'd probably like to. What do you do when you have both the masters and this wild card system. Kurt ventured back back back there but I. Very clever Chad very clever thank you so much for joining appreciated great check union has always. It it. All right we'll fix this thing so much to Chad Epperson for joining as well as JJ Cooper baseball America for breaking down. Some of the an usual activity the trade deadline this year if you like to hear the complete interviews -- both of them. Or propel -- episodes of the show check him at W got dot com slash podcast and things to producer -- Matt looper who saved me today. As well as to as most of Saturday and bill Castelli who -- most of the words. Thanks all of you for listening look for tickets in the next.