Today on Fox’s prospects, we decide to take a good hard look at one a Boston Red Sox prospect rather than an opponent’s prospect. Shocking, isn’t it. Any who, we will be taking a good look at one Ryan Kalish, an outfielder prospect that is currently playing with the Triple-A Pawtucket Red Sox.
The Boston Red Sox drafted Kalish in the ninth Round of the First-Year Player Draft in 2006. He moved up the ladder in the in the Red Sox farm system, making a name for himself. In 2009, he was named Red Sox Minor League Offensive Player of the Year with a .279 batting average, 18 home runs, and 77 RBIs split between his time in Single-A Salem and Double-A Portland. Baseball America ranked him as the Boston Red Sox’s #5 Prospect going into 2010.
In 2010, Ryan Kalish continued to swing the bat. He started off down in Double-A Portland, hitting an impressive .293 batting average with 8 home runs and 29 RBIs in 41 games with the Sea Dogs. Kalish then was called up to Triple-A Pawtucket on June 1st where he hit .294 with 5 home runs and 18 RBIs in 37 games. Then on July 31st of that year, he was shipped up to Boston. There he made an impact with a strong .252 batting average with 4 home runs, including 2 grand slams, 24 RBIs, and stole 10 bases in 53 games. He was named Red Sox Rookie of the Year within the Boston organization and placed 3rd in the MLB AL Rookie of the Year voting.
Looking to continue off his strong 2010 campaign, Kalish started out the season in Triple-A Pawtucket. However, things turned for the worse that year. He suffered a partial tear of the labrum in his left shoulder and a neck injury after making a diving catch against the Syracuse Chiefs on April 21st. After surgery and some time on the Disabled List, Kalish made 2 rehab starts with Double-A Portland from August 6th-8th and made it back up to Pawtucket. However, he suffered from a right trapezius inflammation and a bulging disc in his neck that sent him back to the DL on August 23rd. In 22 games between both Portland and Pawtucket, Kalish hit .228 with no home runs and only 11 RBIs.
After off-season shoulder and neck surgery, Ryan Kalish started the 2012 season with rehab assignments down in High-A Salem and Double-A Portland. He was then called up to the Pawtucket Red Sox back on June 5th. In his Paw Sox debut against the Indianapolis Indians, Ryan Kalish went 3-3 with 1 home run, 3 RBIs, 1 stolen base, and was walked twice. Since then, Kalish has been hitting .429 with 3 home runs, 8 RBIs, slugging at .821 and has an OBP of .529. It's a small sample but it's also a good start for the season.
Ryan Kalish’s return from injury is both a blessing and a curse in disguise. With current Boston Red Sox Outfielders Carl Crawford, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Cody Ross out with injuries, Kalish brings back a solid bat and very dependable outfielder glove. Combined with his major league experience due to his time back in 2010, he is of higher value compared to the current outfielders playing in Boston. There are no signs of his 2011 injuries affecting the power of his swing.
On the downside, the Boston outfield is too crowded. Even with Crawford, Ellsbury, and Ross on the DL, you still got Ryan Sweeny, Darnell McDonald, Adrian Gonzalez (who is currently playing there while Kevin Youkilis is playing at 1st Base), Scott Posednik, and Daniel Nava all playing in the outfield. Also given how much time he missed due to injury, there is the possibility of some ‘rust’ with his swinging mechanics as well as his timing being off. Overall, the best option is to stay in Pawtucket for the time being. But with the way Boston is going through outfielders, it’ll only be a matter of time we see Kalish back up in Boston.
-Ryan L. Fox