Talking Shop With Ryan Kalish

Ryan Kalish admits to being an “impulse shopper.”  He’s Ron Popeil’s dream customer because he’ll see something advertised on TV or displayed in a store window and desperately have to have it.


Kalish smiling.jpg 

(photos courtesy of Kelly O’Connor)


But even though the 22-year-old outfielder spent roughly two months in the big leagues this summer, earning approximately one-third of the $400,000 minimum MLB salary, he didn’t go crazy with his credit card.


“I got an iPad – which is more like a necessity nowadays – and I got some really good headphones,” Kalish told me.  “They’re awesome, but they were a little bit ridiculous to buy.  That’s really about it.  I was pretty good about just hanging out and playing baseball.”


Kalish ranks as one of Boston’s biggest success stories in 2010.  He spent two months at Double-A Portland and two months at Triple-A Pawtucket before making his major league debut on July 31st.  After batting .294 (.382 OBP/.502 SLG) with 13 HR and 25 stolen bases at his two minor league stops, Ryan batted .252 (.305 OBP/.405 SLG) with 4 HR and 10 SB in 53 games with Boston.


“The atmosphere of playing at Fenway and playing with the guys who play here every day was an incredible experience,” Kalish said.  “I hope it never ends.”


Kalish follow thru.jpg 

With Jacoby Ellsbury and Mike Cameron due back from injuries, there’s no guarantee that Kalish will even begin 2011 in Boston.  But he’s likely to go to spring training in the mix for a major league roster spot, and possibly a starting position in the outfield.


“I don’t like to look ahead and put too many expectations on myself,” Kalish said.  “Obviously, I got a pretty good taste of what it’s like to be here and that’s always a plus.  I don’t really know what I expect for next year.  I’m just going to go into the off-season, work hard, and get better – and get ready to help this team if they call on me to help them win.  That’s what I plan on doing.


“I’m going to spend two months at home and around December I’m going to head to Arizona to workout at API (Athletes’ Performance, Inc).  Then I’ll come home for the holidays and go back out there after the New Year.  I had a really good experience out there last year, so I’m definitely going to go back.”


Since Ryan mentioned that he would be spending time at home in New Jersey, I wondered about the status of one of his early-season impulse buys.  As I described in a previous blog entry (read it here), Kalish purchased a violin at a music store in Portland with the intention of learning how to play this off-season.


Now that he’s a big leaguer, does Ryan still plan to take up the violin?


“I think so,” Kalish said.  “I’m going to have a good 2 months at home and I know that I’m going to get really bored, so yea, I do think so.  It’s sitting there in my room, so if I feel like it I’ll go for it.  It was probably a worthless buy, but who knows?”


I guess we’ll find out in Ft. Myers.


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