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Kolbrin Vitek


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#1 mabrowndog


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Posted 07 June 2010 - 08:55 PM

Kolbrin Daniel Vitek
RHP/2B



6'3"
195 lbs
Bats: Right
Throws: Right
Hometown: Bryan, Ohio
High School: Bryan HS
College: Ball State University
Drafted: 1st Round (#20 overall pick) of the June 7, 2010 Amateur Draft

Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe reports Vitek agreed to contract terms with the Red Sox on draft day.

-------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

I posted the following 2 weeks ago in the Red Sox 2010 Amateur Draft thread when Theo was scouting some top talent in Chillicothe, Ohio:

QUOTE
The 2010 MAC Tournament kicked off in grand form. Not only were two great teams who were separated by just one game squaring off, the game which started bright and early at 9 AM was taken in by a special visitor. In many circles Ball State junior Kolbrin Vitek is the conference’s number one prospect and expected first round draft pick. That sentiment was cemented today in a big way. Executive Vice President and General Manager of the Boston Red Sox Theo Epstein was on hand to take in the Bowling Green-Ball State contest to get a close and personal look on the MAC Player of the Year.


Vitek's a second baseman but he's also an RHSP. This season he put up a .368/.452/.713/1.165 line with 17 HR and a 36/32 K/BB in 263 PA. He worked from the mound in 15 games (13 starts, 2/2 in save opps), logging a 3.27 ERA, 72 H, 57 K and 20 BB (2.85 K/BB) in 74.1 IP, and holding batters to a .255/.331/.340/.671 line. Notable for a guy who's displayed such great control were the 12 batters he hit (one per 6.20 IP). He only threw one wild pitch, which indicates he's unafraid to exert ownership of the inside half of the plate. Granted he's not really being viewed as a top-tier pitching prospect, but it says a ton about his attitude and makeup.

He's a lot bigger than Pedroia (6-3, 195) and seems to profile more as a 3B long term. From Pat Hickey's recent scouting report:

QUOTE
Baseball America's Jim Callis tweeted a week and a half ago that the Padres, who have the ninth selection this year, are very high on Ball State second baseman/third baseman Kolbrin Vitek -- high enough that they could be willing to take him with their first pick.
QUOTE
Undrafted out of high school, Kolbrin Vitek burst onto the scene last year as a sophomore at Ball State University, hitting .389/.465/.736 and swiping 17 bases. He also showed promise as a pitcher, where he utilized a low-90's fastball on the mound. It is, however, his bat that will propel him to being selected in the first couple of rounds in 2010. In a draft class light on college bats, Vitek stands out with an intriguing power/speed combination. Vitek has a lean, athletic frame with good body control and flexibility. The biggest thing that stands out about him are his hands. Not only are they lightning quick, but he also understands how they work and uses them to his advantage. Vitek shows excellent balance through contact and rotates his hips well with a strong front side. His swing plane is fairly level, but he does get good lateral tilt and uses the entire field for easy plus power potential. Vitek has plenty of bat speed and extends well through the zone. Last summer at the Great Lakes League All-Star Game, Vitek ran a 6.6-second 60-yard dash. In 2009, he was 17 for 26 on the base paths, but has improved to 13 for 16 so far this year. Defensively, I think the consensus is that he profiles best at third base. He's got the arm strength, but he will need the repetitions to improve footwork and understanding of the position. As a second baseman this year, Vitek has shown he has the hands and agility to make plays to both sides of him. As good of an athlete as he is, he shouldn't have trouble developing into a serviceable to above average third baseman.

Pat also makes the following observation (and a valid one, IMO) regarding players from smaller schools and mid-majors:
QUOTE
A lot of times, these players don't see the same level of competition that players in the SEC and ACC face day in and day out. While there certainly is no denying that, I think one thing that is overlooked with position players is the lack of protection that hitters of the caliber like Vitek get in a line-up. I covered Indiana University baseball this spring, and I asked Coach Tracy Smith what their approach was going to be against him. Obviously, he said they weren't going to give him anything good to hit. Sure enough, Vitek ended up going 2-5 with a double and a home run.


BSU video feature:


CB360 interview:


2/19/2010 @ Arkansas


5/12/2010 vs Ohio State


Another short video here.

Hard not to like his eye, his swing mechanics, and how he carries himself. Definitely appears to fit the Epstein mold.

Edited by mabrowndog, 07 June 2010 - 09:33 PM.


#2 mabrowndog


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Posted 07 June 2010 - 09:08 PM

Draft Day report by Alex Speier of WEEI.com:

QUOTE
With their first-round draft pick, the Red Sox selected second baseman/outfielder Kolbrin Vitek out of Ball State University. Vitek hit .361 with 17 homers and 16 steals en route to winning Mid-American Conference Player of the Year honors. The Sox had the 20th overall selection as compensation for the Braves’ signing of Billy Wagner this offseason.

Vitek said that he and the Sox have already reached a verbal agreement for a signing bonus that represents "a fair number to them and a fair number to me."

He had great workouts for the Red Sox and Padres. He is viewed as an advanced college hitter, with good bat speed and power potential. The Padres were close to taking him with the No. 9 pick of the draft, and would have selected Vitek had high school pitcher Karsten Whitson not been on the board at the pick. One talent evaluator evaluated the 21-year-old as most likely to end up as an outfielder or third baseman in the majors.

Vitek worked out for the Sox at Fenway Park over the weekend, where he took grounders at both third and short. He suggested that the Sox plan for him to play third, a position he last played as a sophomore in college.

“It’s very exciting to join such a successful organization,” he said.


He suggested that his strengths are as a hitter, where he stays inside the ball and drives pitches into the gaps. He suggested that his biggest challenge will be to re-learn playing third base after having not played the position in his junior season.

While Vitek was announced as a second baseman, he was also Ball State’s top pitcher this year. He led the MAC with a 3.28 ERA this year, and had 60 strikeouts in 79 2/3 innings of work.


#3 mabrowndog


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Posted 07 June 2010 - 10:01 PM

Collegiate Career Batting Stats
Year G AB R RBI H 2B 3B HR TB BB HBP K GDP SF SH SB-A BA OBP SLG OPS
2008 34 128 28 24 39 4 3 5 64 14 4 20 3 1 1 3-4 .305 .388 .500 .888
2009 50 208 57 67 81 25 4 13 153 28 5 34 2 4 0 17-26 .389 .465 .736 1.201
2010 58 233 73 68 84 20 3 17 161 33 5 36 2 3 0 16-20 .361 .445 .691 1.136
TOTAL 142 569 158 159 204 49 10 35 378 75.0 14 90 7 8 1 36-50 .359 .440 .664 1.104


Collegiate Career Pitching Stats
Year G GS CG SHO SV W-L IP H R ER ERA BB K HBP WP BK SF SH 2B 3B HR BF BAA OBP SLG OPS
2008 13 13 0 0 0 6-1 65.1 86 53 41 5.65 19 69 4 8 1 0 2 13 2 8 306 .306 .359 .452 .811
2009 12 11 0 0 0 4-3 57.1 62 45 36 5.65 9 56 8 2 0 2 6 8 1 14 256 .268 .316 .494 .810
2010 17 13 1 1 3 3-4 79.2 76 33 29 3.28 20 60 13 1 0 0 6 6 1 6 341 .252 .325 .338 .663
TOTAL 42 37 1 1 3 13-8 202.1 224 131 106 4.71 48 185 25 11 1 2 14 27 4 28 903 .275 .334 .421 .755


#4 jippaman

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Posted 07 June 2010 - 10:41 PM

From http://www.mlbtraderumors.com/:

QUOTE
Red Sox first rounder Kolbrin Vitek said tonight that he has a "verbal agreement" in place with the Red Sox. Vitek, a 21-year-old college infielder said on a conference call that he expects to start his pro career soon, since he and the Red Sox have exchanged figures and come to an informal agreement. Alex Speier of WEEI.com hears that Vitek will sign for slot money ($1.36MM in 2009).


If true, nice quick signing.

Edit: Already noted in the first post.

Edited by jippaman, 07 June 2010 - 11:21 PM.


#5 mabrowndog


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Posted 07 June 2010 - 11:18 PM

Highlights from Vitek's conference call with Boston media courtesy of SoSher and BP contributor David Laurila:

QUOTE
On rumors that the Padres considered taking him with the ninth-overall pick: “I was definitely thinking that the Red Sox were the next in line, as they had given the most interest, and it was pretty exciting for me after my visit out to Boston this past week. It went very well and I knew that after San Diego had passed that the 20th pick was coming up shortly. When Boston picked me, I was pretty excited.

On his position: “Tonight, when they called me, they were talking about me as a third baseman and that’s kind of what I’ve been expecting. I’ve always been working in the infield, with a stronger arm, so third base is my projected position. I played third base my entire sophomore year at Ball State and it was a pretty comfortable position for me to play. I’ve been an infielder my whole life and I have no problem taking ground balls at any position.”

On his strengths and weaknesses: “My strength as a player is my hitting ability, staying inside the ball and driving the gaps, and running the bases. The thing I need to work on, obviously, is playing third base because it will be my first season there since my sophomore year of college.”

On how his game compares to former Ball State teammate Jeremy Hazelbaker, who the Red Sox drafted last year in the fourth round: “It is similar in that we both hit the ball and run a little bit; we both have speed that we can get around the bases quickly and beat out some ground balls. He’s obviously from the left side, and he’s an outfielder, so he plays a different type of game, a little more of a small-ball game than I do, because he has a little more speed. So we’re similar in ways, but different in ways.”

On when he expects to sign: “I expect to sign right away and start my career right away. There were some numbers thrown around tonight and we decided on a number that was definitely a fair contract for me, and a fair contract for them, so we’re excited to get started and get into this thing as soon as possible.”


#6 FanSinceBoggs

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Posted 08 June 2010 - 12:45 AM

Thanks for the excellent info, Browndog.

3b would make sense--it is a position of need in the Red Sox farm system (and the Red Sox don't have a long term answer at the major league level).

They have Middlebrooks, but he has been inconsistent throughout his minor league career. I believe Tejeda is a better prospect than Middlebrooks, but Tejeda lacks plate discipline and might be exposed at the higher levels. They have Renfroe, but he is a few years away. The organization hasn't succeeded in developing a top 3b prospect. The selection of Vitek will hopefully change that.

Edited by FanSinceBoggs, 08 June 2010 - 01:29 AM.


#7 behindthepen


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Posted 08 June 2010 - 07:30 PM

On 98.5 tonight, his coach said that he was probably best as a 3B, but since he also pitched they moved him to 2nd to take some pressure off of his arm. Expects he'll need some instruction to get up to speed at 3rd.

#8 Nuf Ced


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Posted 15 June 2010 - 07:50 PM

Alex Speier of WEEI is reporting that Vitek passed his physical today and will sign a contract with the Red Sox tomorrow.

QUOTE
he will play third base and serve as designated hitter for the Lowell Spinners of the New York-Penn League. Vitek agreed to sign for Major League Baseball's recommended slot bonus, close to the $1.359 million bonus for which last year's No. 20 overall pick signed.


http://www.weei.com/...-vitek-set-sign


#9 Terras


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Posted 15 June 2010 - 10:37 PM

Jim Callis at Baseball America has Vitek signing for the suggested $1.359mil bonus, but suggests that rather than being converted to 3B, he is moving to CF.

QUOTE
The Red Sox announced the signing of first-round pick Kolbrin Vitek today. Vitek, a Ball State second baseman who will convert to center field, signed for $1,359,000.


http://www.baseballa...g/draft/?p=2520

What're the odds he's misinformed here or just mistyped? All signs point to Vitek staying in the infield, where he's played his whole career.


#10 SoxScout


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Posted 15 June 2010 - 11:12 PM

He has been saying OF since before the draft and I guess didn't get the memo about Vitek playing 3B.

Edited by SoxScout, 15 June 2010 - 11:12 PM.


#11 PedroSpecialK


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Posted 15 June 2010 - 11:20 PM

It would certainly be out of left field (please) to not even see Vitek tried at 3B - almost every scout and even his college coach said that he would be best suited there.

#12 Terras


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Posted 16 June 2010 - 02:53 PM

I left a comment on the article from last night asking where Callis heard he was moving to CF.

Response:
QUOTE
Maybe I jumped the gun on that. But I’ve yet to talk to a scout who thought he could realistically stay in the infield and that he was best suited for center field.


#13 Brianish

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Posted 16 June 2010 - 10:46 PM

Is it possible that's because he hasn't asked any? He's seriously the only person I've heard suggest 3b isn't Vitek's best bet.

#14 OttoC


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Posted 17 June 2010 - 05:26 AM

QUOTE (Brianish @ Jun 16 2010, 11:46 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
Is it possible that's because he hasn't asked any? He's seriously the only person I've heard suggest 3b isn't Vitek's best bet.

I reported in another thread that I spoke with Vitek last evening and he said that he would be playing third base when I asked which position he was slated for.

#15 Andrew


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Posted 17 June 2010 - 11:33 AM

How do you pronounce his name? I've heard a different pronunciation every time someone has mentioned him.

#16 I am an Idiot


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Posted 17 June 2010 - 11:51 AM

QUOTE (Andrew @ Jun 17 2010, 12:33 PM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}>
How do you pronounce his name? I've heard a different pronunciation every time someone has mentioned him.


I'm guessing "COLE-brin VY-tek"

#17 Dick Pole Upside

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Posted 17 June 2010 - 07:41 PM

Not for nothin', but there's a player on the Slovakian World Cup team named Robert Vittek, and his name is pronounced "VEE-tek"

#18 Bigpupp

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Posted 20 June 2010 - 12:58 PM

After being the Spinners DH for their first two games Vitek takes over 3B duty today

#19 SoxScout


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Posted 20 June 2010 - 01:08 PM

COLE-brin VIT-ick

#20 The Last DiMaggio

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Posted 27 June 2010 - 08:03 PM

A few photos from today's game against the Tri-City Valley Cats








#21 EastCoasterOutWest


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Posted 28 June 2010 - 02:02 PM

His MiL stats page: http://web.minorleag...t...&pid=592830

#22 Sin Duda

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Posted 14 July 2010 - 02:27 PM

Here's the free portion of Keith Law's post on Kolbrin Vitek in ESPN:

Kolbrin Vitek was the first overall selection of the Boston Red Sox in a draft that saw them grab four players from my top 30, two of whom have signed so far. He's got a great, athletic body, and at the plate he has most of the elements I want to see in a hitter: good bat speed, strong hands, a steady head, good extension, and adjustments to different pitches and situations. On Tuesday night, he hit a grand slam for the Lowell Spinners on a two-strike curveball after a string of fastballs; he stayed back and got better leverage in his swing there than in his normal swing, where he's going for contact. He only showed average speed, and didn't play the field, although he took grounders at third during practice and looked rough there with a fringy arm (surprising for a former pitcher). The bat looks legitimate to me and I'm optimistic it'll play if he has to move to centerfield too.

I've seen infielders take pre-game fielding and not throw hard at all to save their arms and I wonder if that's what KLaw saw. As he says, it's strange that a college pitcher wouldn't have sufficient arm strength at 3B.




#23 Brianish

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Posted 15 July 2010 - 09:21 AM

He's still transitioning from second. He's played third before, but it's been a while iirc. Doesn't surprise me at all that his throwing is still a work in progress.

#24 Brianish

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Posted 18 July 2010 - 02:15 PM

Q&A with Vitek and Mike Andrews on ESPN yesterday. He addresses the transition to throwing from 3rd.

http://espn.go.com/b...-top-pick-vitek

Edited by Brianish, 18 July 2010 - 02:15 PM.


#25 Brianish

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Posted 24 August 2010 - 10:06 PM

Promoted to Greenville today per SoxProspects

http://news.soxprosp...greenville.html

#26 jscola85

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Posted 25 August 2010 - 08:42 AM

Promoted to Greenville today per SoxProspects

http://news.soxprosp...greenville.html

After all the drama surrounding his slow start, he sees a promotion to low-A before the year is over - kudos to Kolbrin. They must feel some level of comfort with his defensive progress to let him take a step up, which I think is as important to his long-term success as anything. The approach and talent by all accounts are there to be a good hitter, it's a matter of how good he can play defense to avoid having to turn into a star with the bat.

#27 JakeRae


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Posted 25 August 2010 - 11:28 PM

After all the drama surrounding his slow start, he sees a promotion to low-A before the year is over - kudos to Kolbrin. They must feel some level of comfort with his defensive progress to let him take a step up, which I think is as important to his long-term success as anything. The approach and talent by all accounts are there to be a good hitter, it's a matter of how good he can play defense to avoid having to turn into a star with the bat.

Is Greenville really a step up? I would peg it more as a lateral move to get him into a playoff race. It really doesn't say anything about his defensive progress, or his offense, other than the fact that he is no longer a struggling player and that the Red Sox like getting their top prospects playoff experience in the minors whenever possible.

#28 OttoC


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Posted 25 August 2010 - 11:58 PM

Is Greenville really a step up?...

Oh, I think it is. Most of the players in the league have at least one year more experience than Vitek has.

#29 JakeRae


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Posted 26 August 2010 - 01:12 AM

Oh, I think it is. Most of the players in the league have at least one year more experience than Vitek has.

Going by age, it is half a year older (.4 for batters, .5 for pitchers). Which, isn't nothing, but isn't exactly a huge step up either. I was actually expecting the numbers to be a little closer, so I'll admit to being wrong. But, I still think that the move is almost entirely about getting him into a playoff race.

#30 someoneanywhere

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Posted 26 August 2010 - 05:48 AM

Going by age, it is half a year older (.4 for batters, .5 for pitchers). Which, isn't nothing, but isn't exactly a huge step up either. I was actually expecting the numbers to be a little closer, so I'll admit to being wrong. But, I still think that the move is almost entirely about getting him into a playoff race.


No, it's all about Vitek. It's a promotion. The ladder in the minors is about increasing levels of competition; he's shown he can make the transition to pro ball, and now it's about putting a better caliber of competition in front of him. The leap from Lowell to Greenville is not the same as the leap from Greenville to Salem, or Salem to Portland, but it's not lateral. And I think there's too much stock being placed in the benefits of having him in a playoff race; there's really no pressure because players understand there's really no stakes, or at least not the kind we normally think of as playoff stakes. If there were, player movement would work in the other direction -- someone like Bermudez, for instance, would be back at Greenville for the "push." Promotions are about the player, not about the club.

#31 Carl Everetts Therapist


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Posted 23 April 2011 - 11:01 PM

Kolbrin seems to be tearing things up? Does anyone have some news on him for this season... How's he looking defensively? Has he solidified 3rd base or is he still projecting as more of a Corner OF type? Thanks

#32 Castor Troy

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Posted 22 June 2012 - 05:47 AM

Anybody have updates on how he's looked in Portland? I know he's never been projected to hit for a lot of power, but I am a little curious about his strikeouts and how he's looked at third base.

#33 mabrowndog


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Posted 27 March 2014 - 11:58 PM

And so it ends. Facing an uphill battle with his flaws, and a concrete ceiling on Boston's depth chart, Vitek has decided to retire from baseball after just 4 seasons as a pro.

 

Speier

 

 

According to industry sources, Kolbrin Vitek — taken by the Red Sox with their first-round pick in the 2010 draft — filed his retirement papers in mid-March, ending a playing career that never lived up to the lofty expectations that followed him into professional ball.






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