Christian Vazquez is sneaky good this year
The Red Sox are not having the best season in franchise history, but there have been a few positive surprises so far this season.
One that's really flown under the radar though would have to be the performance of their starting catcher Christian Vazquez. Prior to the season, there was a lot of talk about other catchers, mostly about who would end up making the roster and who would not. It was assumed that Vazquez, last year's starter, would make the cut and get the majority of the reps. But with Blake Swihart gone and Sandy Leon in the backup role, Vazquez does the bulk of the catching--and he's been really good on both sides of the ball.
Vazquez' bat looks much improved this season after some serious struggles in 2018. Through 29 games thus far, he is hitting .278 with a .333 OBP, five home runs and an .822 OPS. Prior to the season, no one would have guessed those kinds of numbers from him. After all, he hit .207 last year and only had three home runs in 80 games and a .540 OPS. His sabermetrics on the offensive side were all quite negative.
And the defense this year has been quite good as well. In 24 starts behind the plate, Vazquez has not made a single error; he has also gunned down 38 percent of those attempting to steal a base off him--quite a bit higher than the league average 27 percent.
This has the potential to be a great year for Vazquez since he is going to get a lot of starts behind the plate, probably more than he ever has in his career. That said, he has an opportunity to show his fullest capabilities as an everyday ballplayer. Leon is fine defensively, but Vazquez can knock in runs.