Boston Red Sox: Christian Vazquez emerging as team’s secret weapon

TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 28: Christian Vazquez
TORONTO, ON - AUGUST 28: Christian Vazquez /

Christian Vazquez was a key part of the Boston Red Sox 6-5 victory over the Toronto Blue Jays, going 4-4 with a home run and a double.

If I asked you one month ago who would be the key to the Boston Red Sox offense in late August, what would you have answered? Mookie Betts? Andrew Benintendi? It probably would have been anyone other than Christian Vazquez.

The Red Sox catcher has been an offensive stalwart lately, leading the team in hitting in the past 30 days. Over this span, Vazquez is hitting .340, good enough for highest on the team. He also has 3 HR, which is the 5th most on the team during this time frame. That’s more than Hanley Ramirez and  Betts, even despite splitting time with Sandy Leon.

Coming into the 2017 season, Vazquez’ offensive abilities were being questioned. Nobody doubted that Vazquez could hold things down behind the plate, but with Sandy Leon’s Hall of Fame campaign in 2016, it was uncertain how large of a role Vazquez would play.

Vazquez has not only played a huge role, but he’s been clutch. Tonight, he hit just his 3rd home run of the season. Of the three home runs, one was a walk-off, while tonight’s was a go-ahead MOONSHOT. I’ve watched the replay above about 50 times and am still trying to figure out how he kept his hands inside that pitch.

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Now, 131 games in, we’ve seen the kind of damage that Vazquez can do in the batter’s box. On the year Vazquez holds a slash line of .283/.326/.389. Of all catchers who have appeared in at least 50 games, Vazquez is 4th in batting average. That’s exceptional production from a platoon catcher.

Moving forward it’s important that the Red Sox not rely on Vazquez for their runs. There’s no doubt he’s been a key player lately. I hope that continues, but the offense needs to get going on its own.

The Boston Red Sox are just 3.5 games ahead in the AL East, and with a 4 game series with the Yankees looming they’ll need all the help they can get.

This is a talented team with a lot of potential, but if the star players don’t perform they’ll be nothing more than nine guys on a field.

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Vazquez has been the secret weapon of late, but the Sox need to be firing on all cylinders.