New Catcher, Connor Wong Kicks Off Chaim Bloom Era
Red Sox Nation, we knew this trade was inevitable but it did not make it sting any less. Similar any blockbuster, this trade is complex and has a lot of moving parts. My goal is to write about all the different angles of the trade. The Red Sox received three new players in this deal and I will be writing an introduction post for each of them. This post will serve as introduction to a new catcher in the organization, Connor Wong.
The Red Sox are fortunate enough to have one of the game's best catchers, Christian Vazquez. Beyond him, the organization's depth at the sport's most difficult position is razor thin. Connor Wong provides more depth to the catching position and the Red Sox depleted farm system.
The Dodgers drafted Connor Wong in the third round of the 2017 draft. The Dodgers look for athleticism when scouting catchers and Wong fits that bill. He started his college baseball career at shortstop before moving to catcher as a sophomore. The biggest problem for a catcher is usually their bat. Wong hit .281/.336/.541 with twenty four home runs and eight one RBIs in 2019. Despite a very good offensive season he struck out a troublesome 143 times last season. The biggest asset for the twenty three year old is his versatility as he has played second, third and behind the plate in the minors. He is still somewhat to new catching Baseball Prospectus notes "He is a solid receiver and the athleticism helps him pop up better than his average raw arm strength to catch a healthy rate of would be base stealers." According to a scouting report from FanGraphs, Wong profiles as more of a role player who will allow the Red Sox extreme flexibility on defense. Wong has the capability to be a useful bench player in Boston as early as later this season but if he can make enough contact the young backstop may have a bright future. Connor Wong does not have the most talent or potential out of the players the Red Sox acquired in this trade. Baseball Analyst Lou Merloni, described Wong as a "throw in" which may be true but he fills an organizational need.
Chaim Bloom added depth to three out of the four biggest positional needs the organization has in one move. Yes, trading Mookie Betts is a punch to the gut for Boston fans but what if Betts walked away after this season? The compensation would have been a fifth round pick. Instead, Bloom received three young talented players who fill needs. and gave the Red Sox payroll flexibility which they have not had in several years now. It's a new era in with Chaim Bloom in Boston. We have to wait and see what he does next.