Red Sox hope Round 8 pick Moore will 'catch' on

When the Red Sox selected intriguing Alabama junior Ben Moore in the eighth round of the 2014 First-Year Player Draft, they listed him as a catcher.

There's a good reason for that. The Sox expect to put Moore back behind the plate, where he played regularly in high school before switching to the outfield at Alabama.

"He's going to catch. He caught in high school," said Red Sox director of amateur scouting Amiel Sawdaye. "He actually caught early on at Alabama. Our area scout knew him pretty well in high school, and has had a pretty good relationship with him for three years. He's talked to him before the Draft about caching. The kid really wants to get behind the plate."

There is always a premium on catchers, particularly ones who can hit.

"The kid has a prototypical catcher's body," said Sawdaye. "He is 6-1, listed at maybe 200. He's just a strong, durable kid. He had a lot of success this year with the bat in the SEC, and I honestly -- we haven't seen him catch in three years. I know he's catching [bullpen sessions] at Alabama. Our area scout saw him in high school and thought he had a chance to catch then.

"There's going to be a development path. He's not going to walk in and catch every game. There's going to be a lot of fundamental work. To try to find catching is not that easy to do right now. He is a guy who has a lot of the attributes, and one of them is a really good makeup and a passion to catch. We're going to give it a shot, and the fallback option is go back to the outfield."

The right-handed hitter hit .305 with nine homers, while adding an on-base percentage of .367 and a slugging percentage of .481 in his junior year. Moore, 21, is also known for having the type of disciplined approach the Red Sox preach throughout the organization.

"And he controls the strike zone," said Sawdaye. "Really good hand-eye [coordination]."

Ian Browne is a reporter for Read his blog, Brownie Points, and follow him on Twitter @IanMBrowne. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.