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September 1, 2013

The Natural and his less known battery mate

(Continued)

Owens, meanwhile, is a true California boy. During his offseason down time, he enjoys playing guitar, throwing the football on the beach and surfing.

“I don’t fit on a short-board anymore so I use a longboard,” Owens said. “I’m going to go a little more this (offseason) than I did last year.”

Christian Vazquez: Secretary of Defense

Vazquez said Portland hitting coach Rich Gedman and Red Sox player development consultant Dwight Evans have helped him become a better hitter this summer. Evans visited Portland earlier this year and worked with Vazquez and others.

Vazquez has tried not to think too much at the plate, limit the movement of his head and to hit to the middle of the field.

Drafted out of the Puerto Rico Baseball Academy, he attended school there for two years. His day began with baseball from 8-11 a.m. and then he’d head to class before playing more baseball.

He is hoping to be a September call-up. He is on the 40-man roster.

“I’m very happy with my year,” Vazquez said. “I’m hoping something happens in September. I can’t control that. That’s not my job. My job is playing baseball.”

Vazquez has been catching since he was 8. He takes after his dad who caught in amateur baseball in Puerto Rico.

The 23-year-old was named Red Sox Minor League Defensive Player of the Year in 2011, when he threw out 33 percent of attempted base stealers. This year, Vazquez has thrown out an impressive 47 percent (46 of 98).

“His quick feet and release allow his arm strength to play as effectively as it does, as well as allowing him to be an above average blocker,” Red Sox director of player development Ben Crockett said earlier this year.

Smitty’s top 5 prospects

Stats are entering throught Thursday:

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