Life is funny. It can change in a heartbeat. Sometimes for the best. When Ryan Kalish woke up on Saturday morning, very early to return from the PawSox road trip in Ohio, he was just another minor leaguer. A good one, mind you, but relatively anonymous to most of the world. After a bus ride from Toledo to Detroit, a flight to Baltimore, a two hour layover, a flight to Providence and a bus ride to McCoy, Kalish was probably going to catch a quick nap, before he and the PawSox opened a series against Durham. As we got off the bus, I heard manager Torey Lovullo summon Kalish. Naturally, with the trade deadline looming, I figured he might have been dealt to another club. I immediately felt a twinge of sadness. Aside from being a tremendous player, Kalish is a great young man. The 22 year old New Jersey native with the linebackers physique, possesses all the tools to be successful, including a brain and a vivacious personality. I was very relieved to learn that he hadn’t been traded, but promoted to Boston.
This has been a recipe for success already this season. Darnell McDonald in April and Daniel Nava in June both made successful debuts with Boston and stuck around to lend a hand. D-Mac is still up there and since Jeremy Hermida has been designated for assignment, it looks like McDonald will spend the entire season with Boston. Kalish, unlike Nava and Darnell, is not an underdog. He is expected to be successful. He began the year at Portland in Double A and since his promotion to the PawSox, he’s been awesome. Even before that, with the Sea Dogs, Kalish hit .293 with 8 homers and 29 rbi and 13 steals. A level higher, he’s batting .294 with 5 home runs and 18 rbi. Kalish spent about 10 days on the disabled list with a hip issue, but that’s a distant memory, now. Kalish has had multiple hits in 13 of his last 24 games, hitting .343 over that stretch. He has lived up to the hype of being named the #5 prospect in the Red Sox organization, by “Baseball America” before the 2010 season.
Saturday around 2:00 p.m., we arrived at McCoy. By 4:10 p.m. Kalish was starting in left field. On the Fox broadcast on Saturday afternoon, the great Dick Stockton announced the Red Sox starting lineup. when he got to the eighth spot in the lineup, he said “hitting eighth, Ryan Kalish, the 22 year old, just up from Triple A Pawtucket.” He wasn’t kidding. Literally, just a couple of hours before, Kalish was a minor leaguer. Forever more, no matter what, no one can take away the title from Ryan Kalish. Major Leaguer.