Top 100 Baseball Blog

Monday, January 18, 2016

Prospect Jordan Weems Trying To Catch On With The Boston Red Sox

With Blake Swihart and Christian Vazquez, the Boston Red Sox have two of the most highly regarded catching prospects in baseball. Now that they have both reached the majors, fans and the media continue to debate the merits of each. However, team’s organizational depth at the position does not end with them. There are other young receivers who have the talent to potentially contribute to the big league club one day, including 23-year-old Jordan Weems.

Born into a baseball family, Weems proved his own worth, hitting .443 and winning a state championship for Columbus High School in Georgia as a senior in 2011. With such a high profile, he shot up draft boards and was selected in the third round by the Red Sox that year. Passing up a chance to attend Georgia State, he instead signed with Boston and began his professional career.

The left-handed batter has been brought along slowly after breaking into the professional ranks as an out of high school, making it as far as Double-A as of the end of the 2015 season. In his five minor league seasons, he has accumulated a .214 batting average with three home runs and 80 RBIs in 283 games. His patient eye is a real positive, as he has drawn 126 walks. Unfortunately, his ability to stay on the field because of injuries has impacted his progression.

Behind the plate, Weems remains a work in progress. He has caught 20 percent of base runners attempting to steal in his career. He was very up and down in 2015 in that regard, catching 31 percent of runners in High-A Salem but fell off to 9 percent with Double-A Portland.

2016 will be a proverbial big season for Weems. Having reached the upper levels of the minors, he will now seek to prove that he is a prospect worthy of a big league look. You can keep up with him on Twitter, and keep reading to find out more about the young catcher.

Jordan Weems Interview:

Who was your favorite team and player when you were growing up, and why?: My favorite team was the Red Sox because of their awesome history and great players! Favorite player was Ken Griffey Jr. because he was exciting to watch play.

How did you get into catching?: My father was a catcher in the minor leagues, so I wanted to follow in his footsteps and when I first started catching I loved it so I stuck with it!

Your father (Rick) and brother (Chase) were both drafted and played minor league ball, what kind of advice were they able to give you as you entered the draft?: It was very helpful to know what I was getting into and how the minor league life truly was before I chose to sign! 

How did you first find out that the Red Sox were interested in you, and what was your draft experience like?: I found out they were first interested when they started to come to a lot of my games and wanted to visit me and my family! Draft experience was awesome... Especially when I got to go to a workout in Fenway Park.

Your stint with High Single-A Salem in 2014 was your best production in pro ball to date. What clicked for you?: I think the new scenery helped a lot, but also just being able to relax and play the game like I know how! Focusing on having fun and doing what I love while trying to get better each and every day.

What is the one part of your game that you hope to improve on the most?: Being more consistent in all aspects of the game.

Who is one pitcher from any time in baseball history that you would like to face, and how would you approach the at-bat?: Randy Johnson. Try to be aggressive and hit a fastball in my zone while taking a middle of the field approach. Wouldn't try and do too much with a guy like that.

Can you give the readers a little bit of an idea about the physical tolls on a catcher?: Playing professional baseball is already a physically demanding sport, so being a catcher takes that much more of a toll on your body. Catchers not only have to catch most every night but they also have to catch bullpens and get their work in everyday before each night’s game. Whether that's blocking, throwing, receiving, or defensive fundamentals, it all starts taking a toll on your body after awhile. Especially in late August when you're starting to get into the real grind of the season. You have to make sure you're eating right and doing what is necessary to keep your body strong in order to stay at your peak performance.

You can check me out on Facebook or follow me on Twitter @historianandrew

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