Ryan Kalish is going to be an impact player. Watch him for a couple of games and it is apparent. In fact, when asked last season about the top prospect he has ever managed, Torey Lovullo barely hesitated before answering “Ryan Kalish”. Kalish appeared in 53 games for the Red Sox in 2010 and did well. Unfortunately for him, the Sox have an embarassment of riches heading into 2011 and that could mean that the young man from New Jersey will start the season in the outfield at McCoy. Kalish, a confident kid, is unfazed by that prospect. “Not at all. I’m enjoying the ride. I’m just trying to get better as a player every day and if that calls for me to start the season in Pawtucket, that’s fine.” Kalish knows that the signing of Carl Crawford may have pushed him back a notch on the depth chart, but his mature attitude is one of the reasons he will eventually be a star. “We signed a great player. I’m excited to watch him. We have a great outfield. We have a good team. I’m just happy to be a part of it. I just want to go out and get better and see what happens.”
Kalish really relished his stint with the Boston Red Sox. “Fun is an understatement. Obviously, it was disappointing not making the playoffs, but the experiences I had, the people I met, the things I learned…just irreplaceable. Like I said, ‘fun’ just begins to describe it. I really don’t know what word to use.”
Ryan jumped right into the fray of the Sox/Yankees rivalry last August. Kalish, who grew up an hour away from Yankee Stadium was a New York fan as a boy. He proved that his allegiance had changed when he lined a Javier Vazquez pitch into the night, helping the Sox to a 6-3 win. “I was in a daze that day because I was so nervous playing at Yankee Stadium. I had a couple of bad at bats (2 strikeouts on just 6 pitches), but with my even keel attitude, I got my first home run at the place where I watched the most basaeball as a kid, being from so close in New Jersey. It was really cool.”
Kalish is considered a five tool player. He exhibited his defensive prowess while up in Boston, as well. Three weeks later in a game against the Rays, Ryan went deep into right center and made a highlight reel grab, as he laid flat out, snared the ball and somersaulted back to his feet. “It was cool, but it just happened. I was trying to make a play. Clay Buchholz was pitching and I was just trying to help. I thought I had a chance at it, so I jumped. Coming up the way I did, was just the best way, I thought, not to get hurt.” No question, it was a SportsCenter Top 10, but Kalish remains modest.
Whether the Sox are loaded in the outfield or not, Ryan Kalish approaches this Spring Training with a very workmanlike attitude. “I’m going to be ready for whatever it is they ask me to do. If they ask me to go down to Pawtucket..whatever, it’s fine. You never know. I’ll get better and watch guys like Crawford and “Ellsy”, J.D., Cameron and Darnell. But I will be ready when they call on me, and one day ask me to be a part of this team for good.”
After an offseason vacation to Puerto Rico with Lars Anderson, Ryan Kalish is ready to work. It should be pretty exciting to think of a potential PawSox outfield that could feature Kalish, Josh Reddick, Daniel Nava and last years’ Pawtucket MVP, Bubba Bell. Talk about an embarassment of riches.