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April 25, 2011 at 8:00 AM

The Book: Tim Federowicz

C Tim Federowicz
Date: April 21, 2011
Team: Portland Sea Dogs

Line: 2 for 4, 2 singles, 2 runs scored, groundout, popout

Defense: Known as an advanced defender since being drafted by the Red Sox organization in 2008 with above-average major league defensive potential, Federowicz has continued to push his skills during his time in the system and hone the finer points of the catching position. With a sturdy and solid frame, actions behind the dish are extremely fluid and natural for him. Federowicz moves well from side-to-side and is very quick dropping his body down on balls that bounce out in front of the plate in the dirt, allowing him to control and smother wild offerings before they get too far away from him. He shows good anticipation with the break or movement of a pitch being delivered and usually sets his body up in a square position to the ball. This enables him to provide a strong target for pitchers to throw to and front pitches rather than stab at them with frequency. Possessing a plus throwing arm, Federowicz is capable of controlling the running game, but needs a little more work coming out of his crouch cleanly to consistently get his throws on the bag. He can get his arm tangled up a bit with his body from time to time, which causes his throws to tail into the runner. Improving with popping out from behind the plate more crisply should allow him to take more advantage of his arm and be more consistent with catching would-be base stealers.

Approach: Federowicz has found his approach pushed since he was promoted to High-A and this area of his offensive game has the most improvement in front of it for him to become a consistent hitter at the major league level. Now in Double-A this season, he will need to continue working to use the whole field and looking to go deeper into counts. Federowicz can jump at pitches early in the count and be too pull happy, rolling over fastballs on the outer corner instead of trying to drive them the other way. So far during the early season he has done a better job of being more patient during at-bats and using right field to his advantage. Federowicz has some pop in his bat and is capable of plugging gaps when he drives the ball with backspin, along with generating home run power on offerings middle-to-outer third around the thighs. Continuing to improve on his selectivity should enable him to drive more balls and create solid contact with greater frequency. Federowicz can be slow on fastballs around the belt and get jammed on higher velocity offerings running in on him. There have been a couple of times he has driven pitches in this area, but he tends to pop up most of the ones he puts into play. Whether he can work to bring his hands quicker above the baseball consistently in this area or lay off these offerings with greater frequency will most likely show in consistent positive results during the season.

Take: Federowicz is a strong defensive player and appears to be trending towards rounding out as an above-average defender at the major league level. With more experience handling upper level pitchers and continuing his work to become the game manager on the field, he should be close to becoming ready to handle the rigors of catching at the big league level in the near future. When watching Federowicz play behind the plate, the smoothness of his actions and how in control of his body he is jump out considerably. Balls typically don’t get too far away from him after blocking them in the dirt and he’s extremely firm handling pitches delivered to him. Federowicz demonstrates the traits and skills expected out of a solid receiver. However, to be consistent throwing runners out, he will need to continue to focus on coming out of his crouch quicker and not dragging his arm when throwing. When Federowicz struggles with this it leads to erratic throws or late ones despite his very strong arm. It becomes interesting projecting his future role when bringing his offense into the equation. With just average batspeed, his approach is going to have to make strong strides at this stage in his development to help him get into good counts so he can work on offerings he can handle. As a hitter at the major league level, Federowicz has the look of one who will have to guess and cheat some to get his bat started early against the high caliber of pitching. This can make him susceptible to off-speed pitches, along with opening his hips up early, causing him to be more of a hitter that yanks outside pitches consistently and one who will have constant maintenance with his swing to keep it fluid. Presently, Federowicz appears likely to be a backup at the major league level, capable of starting in stretches, and giving a team stability behind the dish while he is in the lineup. His bat still has some development in front of it though and work to better create consistent hard contact can push his projection up a little bit. Federowicz appears to be adjusting well to the Eastern League in the early going and is continuing to hone his skills towards potentially becoming a solid backup catcher at the major league level.