Varitek Who? Ryan Lavarnway hits home run in first AB of the spring

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Today the Sox played a “B” game against the Minnesota Twins. A “B” game meaning the umps didn’t show up until the 3rd inning and admission to the game was free. One of the highlights of the game was Ryan Lavarnway’s 1st inning home run. Apparently, Lavarnway got jammed on the pitch, but still managed to hit it an estimated 380 ft. After last years success and his quick start in the spring I have to ask; Is Ryan Lavarnway the real deal? At the age of 25 he is hard to consider a prospect, but the hard hitting right handed catcher has been putting up major numbers ever since he graduated Yale in ’09. At Yale, Lavarnway was the 2007 NCAA batting and slugging champion and ended his career with the Ivy League’s all-time homerun record (33, in just three seasons). He set the Yale and Ivy League records with a 23-game hitting streak. He was called up the majors after batting .301 with 16 homeruns in 55 games at Triple-A Pawtucket. He showcased his raw talent right off the bat with some big home runs. The biggest knock on Lavarnway is that his defense isn’t at the major league level yet. This may be true (I haven’t seen enough of him yet to make that call) but lets not forget that everyone in the league ran on tek over the last 3 or 4 years of his career. I think with a big spring we may see Lavarnway get more AB’s in the bigs especially if Shoppach gets off to a slow start. He could use the time in AAA to work on his defense, but the how much longer are the Sox willing to keep his bat in the minors.

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