Sunday, March 14, 2010

Autographs from Boston's Future Outfield

I thought that I would take the time to share my autographs today from two of the Red Sox' top prospects that look poised to capture starting outfield positions by the 2011 or 2012 seasons: Josh Reddick and Ryan Kalish. Both 2006 Red Sox draft picks, Kalish was selected in the 9th round from Red Bank Catholic High School (NJ.) and Josh Reddick in the 17th round from Middle Georgia College.

Twenty-three year-old Josh Reddick is slightly ahead of Kalish developmentally, playing for AA Portland, AAA Pawtucket and Boston last season. After starting off hot in Portland, Josh was promoted directly to Boston as an injury replacement where he showed flashes of brilliance immediately. Unfortunately, late in the season, the patience at the plate that Reddick had improved to earn his promotions seemed to disappear and he finished the year hitting .127 in Pawtucket and .169 in Boston.

Fortunately, Reddick has regained his patient approach at the plate in Spring Training and has been crushing Grapefruit League pitching, hitting .476 average, .500 OBP, .762 SLG and 1.262 OPS over 8 games and 21 at-bats. Although Reddick will start the season at AAA Pawtucket, it looks like he should be contributing at Fenway before long.

I got this card signed after a Paw Sox game in late August. Josh is an infrequent signer, but that night he signed 2 cards for everyone who waited. Hope that he is ready to sign many, many more this season at McCoy.

Ryan Kalish, who will be twenty-two on opening day, began last season with High-A Salem before being promoted early to AA Portland. Despite early struggles against AA pitcher, Kalish finished the year with a .271 BA and 13 HR, being named the Red Sox Minor League Player of the Year. Kalish kept that momentum going in the Arizona Fall League, batting .310 for Mesa.

Ryan had a very productive stint in the Grapefruit League, hitting .267 with a .467 OBP over 7 games and 11 at bats before being reassigned to Minor League Spring Training. It seems likely that Kalish will break camp with the Sea Dogs, but could earn a quick promotion to AAA Pawtucket if he continues to play well.

In addition, Ryan was recently crowned the winner of the Red Sox Foundation charity benefit "Dancing with the New Stars" competition, edging out fellow prospects and dancers Lars Anderson, Michael Bowden and Mark Wagner. If you have 1 minute and 50 seconds, I promise that it will not disappoint.

Ryan Kalish's autographed 2008 TriStar Projections will always have a special place in my collection because it is the first autograph that I have ever got from a player that is younger than me. I got it before the Sea Dogs played the Bowie Bay Sox at the Futures at Fenway game in August of 2009.

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