Sox sign another talented catcher
On July 13th 2017 the Red Sox became the first MLB team to sign a Tibetan-born baseball player when they signed sixteen year-old Qiang Ba Ren Zeng. The versatile youngster’s primary position is catcher, but he is also experienced at both shortstop and pitcher. Zeng currently stands at six feet tall and weighs 185 pounds, certainly a sizeable frame for a young kid. His best attribute seems to be his strong and accurate throwing arm, obviously a vital skill for an aspiring catcher.
Zeng’s transition to the MLB
While there are currently no stats available for Zeng, he began playing for the Gulf Coast League Red Sox in August. He seems to be tremendously talented defensively but there are questions about his offense. Some scouts are skeptical about his abilities at the plate, but ultimately it is too early to jump to conclusions. His large frame is an indication of at least some potential for power.
MLB’s absence of catchers
I love this move by the Red Sox. They may not know everything about this kid, but it is a good gamble. Modern baseball seems to lack both depth and talent at the catcher position, which is arguably the most important position on the diamond. It is very unlike the depth at a position like shortstop, which is absolutely loaded with talent. Among the top 100 players in the game today, about four of them are catchers (Yadier Molina, Gary Sanchez, Buster Posey and Salvador Perez) The game seriously lacks talent at a key position. Due to the scarcity at the position, I think many teams in the league are undervaluing the importance of loading up on young catching prospects.
Surplus of catching options for the Sox
The Red Sox seem to be one of the better organizations at scouting catchers. Currently, we have two of the very best defensive catchers in the MLB in Christian Vazquez and Sandy Leon. Also, the Sox are developing yet another brilliant defensive catcher in Daniel Flores. Flores is currently the fifth-ranked prospect in the organization. Impressively, he has drawn comparisons to Austin Hedges. Scouts say he has Gold Glove potential.
Zeng signing is underrated
Having a plethora of talented catchers has two major benefits. One, they can be used by the team to help them win. Another benefit, they contain high value because of scarcity. All teams are looking for a solid catcher and many are willing to pay a hefty price for one. If the Red Sox are smart they will be able to use one of their many catchers as “trade bait” and receive a substantial reward in return. #RedSoxNation should be excited about this signing, even if it takes a few years to pay off.