Christian Vazquez
Christian Vazquez
28-Year-Old CatcherC
Boston Red Sox
2018 Fantasy Outlook
Sandy Leon was the widely-drafted Red Sox catcher last season, but Vazquez ended up being significantly more valuable in both real life and fantasy. Granted his fantasy value was tied closely to a .290 average, and that number was buoyed by an inflated .348 BABIP. However, Vazquez was a big plus behind the dish and should get a chance to build on his run and RBI totals with more playing time in 2018, assuming the Red Sox don't bring in a more potent bat to serve as the primary backstop. Vazquez doesn't walk much (4.9 percent last season) or get the ball in the air very often (28 percent flyball rate), but he runs more than most catchers (7-for-9 in stolen base attempts) and can work the ball the other way (33.3 opposite-field percentage). As of now it appears Vazquez will open the year atop the depth chart, and that puts him in the discussion as a low-end first catcher. Read Past Outlooks
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#305
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$Signed a three-year extension with the Red Sox in March of 2018, which includes a club option in 2022.
On bench Wednesday
CBoston Red Sox
September 19, 2018
Vazquez is not in the lineup Wednesday against the Yankees, Chris Cotillo of MassLive.com reports.
ANALYSIS
There's no clear starter behind the plate in Boston. Vazquez had started two in a row, but before that had sat for five of six. Sandy Leon starts Wednesday. With Leon hitting .182/.240/.287 and Vazquez posting a .211/.256/.293 line, neither is anything close to an appealing fantasy asset.
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Batting Stats
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Minor League Game Log
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Left/Right Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+14%
OPS vs LHP
2018
 
 
+17%
OPS vs LHP
2017
 
 
+2%
OPS vs LHP
2016
 
 
+53%
OPS vs LHP
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016vs Left .710 159 21 2 15 4 .268 .314 .396
Since 2016vs Right .624 613 65 7 44 6 .247 .289 .335
2018vs Left .619 63 6 0 7 2 .250 .286 .333
2018vs Right .530 180 16 3 8 1 .201 .246 .284
2017vs Left .748 56 10 2 6 2 .278 .304 .444
2017vs Right .732 289 33 3 26 5 .293 .336 .396
2016vs Left .804 40 5 0 2 0 .286 .375 .429
2016vs Right .527 144 16 1 10 0 .212 .250 .277
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Home/Away Batting Splits
Since 2016
 
 
+28%
OPS at Home
2018
 
 
+21%
OPS at Home
2017
 
 
+57%
OPS at Home
2016
 
 
+15%
OPS on Road
OPS PA R HR RBI SB AVG OBP SLG
Since 2016Home .720 387 53 7 33 5 .277 .319 .401
Since 2016Away .564 385 33 2 26 5 .224 .270 .294
2018Home .609 115 11 2 7 1 .236 .263 .345
2018Away .502 128 11 1 8 2 .193 .250 .252
2017Home .905 167 28 4 20 4 .348 .395 .510
2017Away .577 178 15 1 12 3 .237 .270 .308
2016Home .550 105 14 1 6 0 .212 .257 .293
2016Away .633 79 7 0 6 0 .247 .304 .329
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Stat Review
How does Christian Vazquez compare to other hitters?
This section compares his stats with all batting seasons from the previous three seasons (minimum 400 plate appearances). The bar represents the player's percentile rank. For example, if the bar is halfway across, then the player falls into the 50th percentile for that stat and it would be considered average.
BB/K
0.29
 
BB Rate
4.5%
 
K Rate
15.4%
 
BABIP
.241
 
ISO
.082
 
AVG
.211
 
OBP
.256
 
SLG
.293
 
OPS
.549
 
Advanced Batting Stats
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Additional Stats
Games By Position
Defensive Stats
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Past Fantasy Outlooks
2017
2016
2015
2014
2013
2012
2011
Coming off of Tommy John surgery, Vazquez started the 2016 season in Triple-A Pawtucket, playing just five games before earning a callup. The 26-year-old was named the starter after being called up, starting 49 games behind the plate before losing his starting catcher role to Sandy Leon after he couldn't seem to find his form at the plate. Vazquez struggled mightily, slashing .226/.278/.305 in 51 games before being sent back down to Triple-A. Despite his continuing offensive struggles, he proved he is still an elite backstop, gaining 1.53 extra strikes per game, which was fourth best in the majors in 2016. Although he wasn't used, his defense earned him a callup before the playoffs, showing how much his glove is valued. Vazquez is currently locked in as a backup, but all it will take for the righty to become a starter is for his bat to produce numbers closer to the league average.
Vazquez was preparing last spring to be Boston’s starting catcher in 2015 when an elbow injury eventually led to Tommy John surgery, forcing him to miss the entire season. The history of catchers who have undergone this procedure is a short one. Most notably is Baltimore’s Matt Wieters, who had the surgery in June 2014 and returned roughly one year later. He played 75 games, catching 55 of them. Other catchers that have undergone the procedure say they don’t feel they’re fully back until year two. Vazquez was expected to get some ramp up time in winter ball, but his team folded and he’s not getting the expected at-bats leading up to spring training. It’s all a big question mark for Vazquez. He’s probably not going to be ready to go full-time when the season starts, so the Red Sox may have him spend some time at Triple-A Pawtucket, while the combination of Blake Swihart and Ryan Hanigan open the season in Boston.
Vazquez began last season as the starting catcher for Triple-A Pawtucket and finished the season as the starting catcher for Boston. He's about a half year ahead of schedule, but the A.J. Pierzynski signing backfired on the Red Sox and Vazquez was promoted in July. He hit .240/.308/.309 in 201 plate appearances. The question remains whether or not he'll hit consistently enough in the majors, though his defense will keep him employed in MLB for as long as he wants. The same thing was said about Yadier Molina -- a frequent Vazquez comparison. If there are enough quality bats in the lineup, the Red Sox can live with a .230 hitter at the bottom of the order. Vazquez did a credible job hitting with men on base or in scoring position, and showed a knack for moving runners along, so there are some encouraging signs. Projected to open the season as the Red Sox's starting catcher, Vazquez tore his UCL during spring training and will miss the entire season following Tommy John surgery.
Vazquez's prospect status is on the rise, largely due to his defensive abilities, and particularly his ability to control the opposing running game. He threw out 46 percent of would-be base-stealers and his pop-up time when throwing to second base is gaining notoriety. Though he can be a streaky hitter, Vazquez has improved offensively over the years, and he had a career-best OBP and reduced his strikeouts from 79 to 44 in 2013. Vazquez's defense has him headed for the major leagues. If he maintains/develops his improved plate approach and continues to make consistent contact, he figures to be a full-time starter. Look for him to start the season at Triple-A Pawtucket and possibly get a crack at the big leagues later in the season.
Vazquez, a ninth-round selection in 2008 at the age of 17, has worked his way up to the Double-A level largely on his glove. He was able to hit enough in the lower levels to get by while his improvements defensively and as a leader has garnered attention in the organization. He was added to Boston's 40-man roster in the offseason. He has the ability to control an opponent's running game. There's a sense that his glove alone will carry him to the major leagues. The bat, on the other hand, may be problematic. He'll return to Double-A Portland where he'll work on the more advanced aspects of catching: working with pitchers, game calling and varying pitch sequences.
Vazquez spent his second straight season in the Low-A South Atlantic League for Greenville, becoming the Drive's primary backstop in 2011. The defensive side of the game made impressive strides, though some improvement in mechanics are still needed. Vazquez is a work in progress as a hitter, but improved mechanics gave him greater bat speed and he generated more power than we expected. His swing will be challenged more as he advances levels in the organization. He'll likely land at High-A Salem where he'll see less mistakes, so a power drop is expected. Continued work on quickening his swing and maintaining good contact rates will be a key for hitting success in 2012.
Vazquez, a ninth-round draft pick in 2008, shows some agility behind the plate but still needs work in other defensive aspects (quicker release, blocking balls). He's got the attitude to improve. He's not very advanced with the bat, but has some power potential and could evolve into an adequate hitter. He'll likely be placed at Low-A Greenville.
More Fantasy News
Sits for third straight
CBoston Red Sox
September 12, 2018
Vazquez is out of the lineup for the third straight game Wednesday against the Blue Jays, Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reports.
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Not starting Tuesday
CBoston Red Sox
September 11, 2018
Vazquez is not in the lineup Tuesday against Toronto, Christopher Smith of MassLive.com reports.
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Gets breather Sunday
CBoston Red Sox
September 9, 2018
Vazquez is out of the lineup Sunday against the Astros, Jason Mastrodonato of the Boston Herald reports.
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Day off Friday
CBoston Red Sox
September 7, 2018
Vazquez is out of the lineup versus the Astros on Friday, Evan Drellich of NBC Sports Boston reports.
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Resumes lead catcher role
CBoston Red Sox
September 6, 2018
Vazquez went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored in Wednesday's 9-8 win over the Braves.
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