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OTM's Top 20 Red Sox Prospects: #18 Mark Wagner

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Name: Mark Wagner
Age: 22
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 205
B/T: Right/Right
POS: Catcher
Draft: 9th round, '05
Projected '07 team: Lancaster (A+)
ETA: Late 2008
Wagner's 2006 stats

For a system that has lacked catching depth for many years, Mark Wagner is one (of two) within the organization that could be changing that.

Wagner, 22, is a "defensive-minded" catcher. Baseball America said Wagner is the best defensive catcher in the Red Sox system. He's good at throwing out runners and he's a good leader behind the plate. He knows how to call a game for his pitcher.

Wagner had a very strong 2006 in Greenville (A-). He batted .301/.386/.456 with seven home runs in 355 at-bats. He was promoted to Wilmington later in the season but struggled in 65 at-bats batting just .169/.243/.277.

A little on his college career at UC Irvine:

Catcher Mark Wagner received second-team honors for the second consecutive year after establishing himself as one of the top defensive catchers. Wagner foiled 34 stolen base attempts and held opposing teams to a .443 stolen base average on the basepaths to lead the conference's catchers. Offensively, Wagner was UCI's most consistent player and batted .355 with a team-high 78 hits, 11 doubles, four triples and four home runs. In conference play, the junior hit .356 and paced the team with 32 hits, two home runs and 15 RBI. Wagner was voted the team's Most Valuable Player and led the Big West in hits and was fourth in batting average.

UC Irvine (2005)

The bottom line on Wagner is if his offense continues to improve while climbing the Boston ranks, he could be our future catcher. His defense and leadership is in check, but his stock will suffer if his offense dips once he makes the full-time jump to Lancaster (A+).