As I sit down to write this piece on Tim Federowicz, I can't help but feel a little dejected as all of the positive things I have to say about his game are probably par for the course right about now as he is currently one of the hottest players in all of minor league baseball (when I watched him play, Federowicz was hitting .254, not .328). It's one of those "doh" moments where I would have completed this scouting report six weeks ago had I known his production would match the things I had to say about him so quickly. Unfortunately, it's one of those times where my post series research on Federowicz moved him to the back burner. Sometimes statistics and metrics just don't tell the whole story about a player.
Over the past three years, the Red Sox have made a concerted effort to draft catchers in the hope of developing an heir apparent to Jason Varitek from within. Federowicz could be that guy. The former North Carolina Tar Heel product was the Red Sox 7th round pick in the 2008 draft and is already paying dividends has he was recently named a Sally League all-star.
Offense: With a good idea at the plate, Federowicz was a base hit machine in the couple of games I saw him. He took an inside fastball over the left field fence for a home run, took breaking balls back up the middle for base hits, and was clearly the teams most polished all-around hitter. His swing was fluid, and his bat speed was a tick above average. On the negative side, his pre-swing load was all but non-existent which could limit his power potential. With no visible load, his forward drive through the ball could cause him to become off balanced from time to time. Federowicz was also a "grip it and rip it" hitter. It was easy to tell he wasn't interested in a walk and wasn't going to be cheated at the plate.
Defense: Excellent footwork and a strong arm, Federowicz should continue to throw out more than his share of runners as he moves up through the system. In throwing out a runner in game action, Federowicz' throw was never higher than about three feet off of the ground. His release was the quickest I've seen at this level in the three to four years I've been watching Sally games. Behind the plate, he had a strong presence and managed the staff well. He also squared up well when blocking balls and it was easy to tell the staff had full confidence in his defensive abilities from pitch locations.
Speed: Well, he's a catcher isn't he? Joking aside, Federowicz wasn't slow for the position and would be considered an "athletic" catcher.
On the field, Federowicz certainly isn't the most exciting player to watch. However, he does his job as well as any player in the Sally league. Nearing twenty-two, I expect the Red Sox to find a way to promote him soon as he obviously needs more of a test offensively. With Mark Wagner's success in the Eastern League, and Luis Exposito with more than 400 A+ at bats, the call is likely to come sooner, rather than later. In the future, Federowicz' defense should allow him a long career as a big league backup at a minimum. With continued refinement of his pitch selection, he could be a productive starter on both offense and defense.