RED SOX AND CATCHER CHRISTIAN VÁZQUEZ
AGREE ON THREE-YEAR CONTRACT EXTENSION
In addition, Vázquez has offered to make an annual donation to the Red Sox Foundation.
Vázquez, 27, is in his 11th professional season, all with the Red Sox since being selected by the club in the ninth round of the 2008 June Draft. In 211 major league games, he has thrown out 42 percent of attempted base stealers (42 of 100), the highest rate for any catcher since at least 1987 (min. 200 games caught), ahead of Hall of Famer Ivan Rodriguez (41.7%).
After missing the entire 2015 season recovering from Tommy John surgery, Vázquez began the 2016 campaign on the disabled list but worked his way back to the big league club, appearing in 57 Red Sox games that year. In 2017, he led Boston with 85 starts behind the plate and appeared in a career-best 99 games, pacing American League catchers with a .290 batting average (min. 250 AB). For his efforts, he earned the Unsung Hero Award from the Boston Baseball Writers.
From July 29 through the end of the 2017 season, Vázquez ranked fourth in the majors with a .346 batting average (min. 50 AB). On August 1 against the Cleveland Indians, he turned a 10-9 deficit into a 12-10 victory with a three-run, walk-off home run in the ninth inning, his first career game-ending RBI. Twice last season he recorded four hits and stole a base in a game, becoming the first Red Sox catcher with two such games in an entire career (source: Elias Sports Bureau).
Vázquez started Games 2 and 4 of the 2017 American League Division Series and reached base in four of his eight plate appearances, going 2-for-6 with two walks. In his postseason debut on October 6 at Minute Maid Park, he went 2-for-3 with a walk and a run scored.
The 2011 Red Sox Minor League Defensive Player of the Year, Vázquez was ranked by Baseball America as the best defensive catcher in his primary league in four consecutive seasons from 2011-14. He made his major league debut in July of 2014 and took over as Boston’s primary catcher, throwing out 51.7 percent of attempted base stealers (15 of 29), the best single-season rate in Red Sox history (min. 50 games caught). Boston won each of Vázquez’s first five starts, as he became the first Red Sox player ever to start at catcher and win each of his first five major league games.