Vogt Has Impressed and Amazed This Spring

If you are a true believer in “the Rays Way”, you know his name. He could have a great career outside of baseball possibly headed for the bright lights of tinsel town or even the home of the Evil Empire, but he graces us with his skill, ability and the true action of striking the ball so hard it screams off his bat. The one to watch in my opinion this Spring is Rays C prospect Stephen Vogt.

He is already one of a long line of guys fighting for a slot on the 25-man roster for the Rays, but I truly feel his bat will be the difference. A beautiful kicker is he can play First Base, plus be an amazing backstop which could give the Rays the chance to carry 3 legitimate MLB quality catchers on their 25-man roster. Another added bonus is his bat can be as explosive and as lethal as a former Ray who has produced more trhan a few moments of glory for this team. To me, Vogt is Dan Johnson light, in a good way.

Now this is not a man crush, a bro-mance or even a kinship brought together through the giggles and adventures from Vogt’s talents via Charlotte Stonecrabs videos, or his antics and 2 time Rays Talent Show top honors. This is a guy who could be the dark horse and a true contender for a 25-roster spot because of his versatility and the power stored within his wooden club.

Vogt has made sure over the past few games that his name is whispered among those in the Rays Republic. Whether it is stroking and legging out an impressive triple today in the Rays first win against their AL East menace, the New York Yankees. Do not let the afterglow fade so quickly on his 3-for3 day with 2 RBI and 5 total bases on the day. Bask in the heat off his bat, for it is real and it will be a weapon of destruction sooner than we think in the MLB.

Sure I might be waxing it a bit rough with poetic justice here with Vogt, but when it comes to catchers who can hit with power and has speed as a secret weapon, Vogt is the secret weapon this Spring for the Rays. Need more proof. How about a prospect putting up a .545 average in his 8 at bats so far this March combined with a .667 average against right-handed pitching and you got a dark horse ready to run for daylight.

Need more stats to whet your whistle. How about a paltry .800 average this Spring away from the confines of Charlotte Sports Park with 2 RBI and an explosive 2.000 OPS. That is no typo, a 2.000 OPS, which is unheard of, even in the Spring. Want another nibble. How about a 1.492 OPS in his 11 atr bats this Spring to go along with a .600 average with the bases empty and a 1.467 OPS during those “empty base” moments. Oh did a fail to mention, he is a left-handed batter…SWEEEEET!

Seriously, Vogt is starting to make a few of us take notice when he swaggers up to the plate this Spring because the potential for something grand is just a simple swing away. Combine that with his many gloves and many options the Rays could use a bat like Vogt’s during the season….He is my player to watch this week…. and hopefully for a long, long time. Oh, and he does a mean Rays skipper Joe Maddon impression.

Interesting side notes concerning Vogt:

*** His daughter Peyton was born during a wild 36-hour time span of time while Vogt was heading to Tropicana Field to accept his 2011 Rays Minor League Player of the Year Award. His wife Alyssa went into labor that same day and gave birth before Vogt could return to her side.

*** Vogt who was out with a shoulder injury  actually put on the Umpire’s blues and filled in during a night game of a doubleheader while with the FSL Class-A Charlotte Stone Crabs after the Home Plate Umpire was injured in the arm by an errant fastball. After both Managers agreed, Vogt took a position on the field as a Base Umpire for the rest of the contest.

*** We all know Vogt has comedic talents, but sis you know he also hosted the 2011 Rays Talent Show after winning in both 2009 and 2010. No word on if Ryan Seacrest had a bead of sweat on his brow after watching the video.

***Vogt won the Florida state League Batting Title in 2010 hitting .375 for Class-A Charlotte. It was the 3rd highest Batting Average by a Rays farmhand that season.

***The Vogts’ are an athletic family. His wife, Alyssa is actually taking a year off as a Basketball Coach at Evergreen State College to be with newborn Peyton.

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