July 12th, 2012 | Sports

BASEBALL | Former Eli catcher receives AAA all-star nod

Catcher Ryan Lavarnway ’09 is proving that his September heroics for the Boston Red Sox last year were no fluke, as he was selected to start the AAA All-Star game yesterday in Buffalo, NY.

The fifth-ranked catching prospect in the minors according to mlb.com, Lavarnway went 1 for 2 for the International League All-Stars in a 3-0 loss to the Pacific Coast League’s stars. This season, he is fourth in the International League with a .310 average, and also has 7 home runs and 37 RBI for the Pawtucket Red Sox.

Lavarnway tore through the Red Sox’s minor league system last season – blasting 32 home runs with 93 RBI in just 116 games in AA and AAA – before earning an August call up to the big leagues.

Back with the Sox in September, Lavarnway hit the first two homers of his major league career to help his team to an 8-7 win over the Baltimore Orioles on Sept. 28. His display of power kept Boston tied with the Tampa Bay Rays for the wild-card going into the final day of the regular season.

Jared Saltalamacchia is the current starting catcher at Fenway, but Lavarnway’s time could be soon at hand. Although Saltalamacchia has already topped his career-high with 17 home runs this season, he has hit just .232 in 181 games through three seasons in Boston. Saltalamacchia was signed to a one-year, $2.5 million contract this past offseason, which could leave an opening for Lavarnway behind the plate next year.

Boston drafted Lavarnway in the sixth round of the 2008 MLB entry draft, and the philosophy major left Yale before graduating in order to pursue professional baseball.