Top 50 Quotebook: Mike Hazen (Pt 2)

In compiling the third annual Diehard Top 50, we spoke to numerous Red Sox players and executives, including director of player development Mike Hazen. Here are his thoughts on Ryan Kalish, Josh Reddick, Mark Wagner, Chris Carter and Dustin Richardson. For the complete write-ups of the players in the top 50, please subscribe to DiehardMagazine.com today!

(Part two of four)


Ryan Kalish, OF:
Mike Hazen: Great worker. A definite leader by example out on the field with his work ethic, his passion for the game, his energy—he brings all those things [that] are real positive that you see even at 19 years old. And certainly the performance was outstanding in the time he was in there. Unfortunately, he got hurt. It's something he'll have to learn from and move past. He finished [rehabbing] right before Christmas and is in his normal off-season program right now and we don't expect him to [have] any setbacks heading into spring training.


Josh Reddick, OF:
Mike Hazen: Very surprised. Not that we didn't think he could do it, just not having played the year before—coming in, having the season he had, I think he really surprised and opened some eyes. He's [got] very good bat to ball skills. Very aggressive in his ability to attack fastballs. I think some of the things we're going to need to focus on is natural strength gains. I think he wore down a little bit physically and we need to do some work there to kind of help him maintain his strength throughout the course of the year. As well as some plate discipline things that we're going to need to work on as he moves up the ladder and pitchers become a little more savvy. [When they] show the ability to attack him, he's going to need to make those adjustments back.


Mark Wagner, C:
Mike Hazen: He's dong a good job—learning a lot, I think, from where he came in at Lowell from a leadership standpoint, ability to control and run a pitching staff and handle the bat. We talk a lot about a catcher's ability to catch and throw and he can definitely do that. But the separator is usually because of the offensive ability, and he has that too.

He does a good job of blocking and receiving and those are key things to running a pitching staff. The throwing—he has a pretty good stolen base caught percentage. But those other things are as important as you talk about the quality of a Jason Varitek. That's what people talk about and [Wagner] has some of those things.


Chris Carter, 1B:
Mike Hazen: The guy hits. And he has his entire career. We think he can really hit. And I think we've talked to him about this: His ability to improve defensively—and that's why he went down to Venezuela [for winter ball]—is going to be the key to long-term sustained success at the major league level. We're confident this guy is going to get a chance to hit at the big league level. He's also going to be need to be put on the field. That's the one piece that we need to work on to put together to get him up there.


Dustin Richardson, P:
Mike Hazen: A guy that has an extreme ability to pitch with his fastball—something that we saw from start to finish and something that really came on as he went to Lancaster and showed extreme confidence, much like [Michael] Bowden did early in the year. [It's] something that we think is going to ultimately make him extremely successful as he moves up the ladder and ultimately to the major league level. He still has to work on developing some consistency to secondary stuff. A consistent left-hander with a fastball [who] gets swings and misses is exciting to have.


(Part three of our quotebook with Hazen will appear Wednesday)


Diehard managing editor Jerry Beach can be reached at diehardmag@yahoo.com. To receive a free issue of Diehard, call 888-501-5752. To subscribe to Diehard or diehardmagazine.com, please CLICK HERE.

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