Former Bob Jones two-sport standout Caden Rose just completed his junior season at Alabama and recently signed a minor league contract with the Boston Red Sox after being drafted by the American League team in the 2023 Major League Baseball Draft. Photo- Alabama Athletics

Caden Rose Living His Dream- Signs Professional Baseball Contract

MADISON- Once a Red Sox fan, always a Red Sox fan, and even more so for Caden Rose. The former stellar athlete in both baseball and football at Bob Jones High grew up as a huge fan of the Boston Red Sox and always dreamed of maybe one day getting his chance to wear the uniform of the American League East Division team. On July 12, Rose officially was given the right away for his dream to come true as he signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox after being drafted in the seventh round of the Major League Baseball Draft and signed with the parent club Red Sox.

Since chosen at the 208th overall pick, Rose signed a minor league contract with the Red Sox with a pick value of $250,300 with a $150,000 signing bonus. After meeting with the parent club he was assigned to the Ft. Myers, Fla. rookie club to begin his work at professional baseball.

“I’m here in a Ft. Meyers hotel with a fellow player as a roommate and taking this opportunity one day at a time,” said Rose, via a telephone conversation. “This is a dream come true and I’ve worked my entire life for this. I’m just fired up for the opportunity to actually live my dream. Through the years I became a fan of the Atlanta Braves, but I still remember my father taking me to Boston to see the Red Sox at Fenway Park and watching infielder Dustin Pedoria (14 seasons with Red Sox), my favorite player for Boston.”

The Red Sox were intrigued by his power potential plus defense in the outfield. In the most recent season playing for the Alabama Crimson Tide, Rose, who will turn 22 in October, batted .261 with 10 doubles, nine home runs, 26 RBIs, 45 runs scored, nine stolen bases, 26 walks and 40 strikeouts in 186 plate appearances within 48 games for the Tide. The right-handed hitting junior dealt with several injuries in his latest campaign.

As part of a star-studded six-player 2009 signing class out of Bob Jones, Rose was the top-ranked shortstop and third-rated player in Alabama by Prep Baseball Report. He was named All-State in three consecutive seasons as an infielder but also was one of the team’s top pitchers. He was a two-time All-State selection in football where he was the Patriots’ starting quarterback.

“At the top of my list of the best all-round athletes I’ve seen and most definitely played hard every play and was no surprise he was chosen in the MLB Draft,” said Jared Smith, head coach of the Bob Jones baseball program who witnessed first-hand the incredible all-round talents of the young Rose. “He led by example and suffered several injuries due mostly to him playing hard every moment he was on the field both baseball and football.”

One of the most memorable injuries Rose suffered came in the 2019 season where he lacerated his spline while in Area play. Rose reminisced about the freak injury, “Two weeks prior to the spline injury my finger was stepped on during a game versus Florence and I was out of the lineup for days. I remember it was prom night and I was pitching batting practice when a line drive off the batted ball hit me in the area of my spline. I did stay for the game and really began not to feel well. Later that day, I decided to visit the doctor and he found I had internal bleeding from the laceration.”

Doctors double checked scans of the injury and decided surgery was not required. With the State Championship race just a few weeks away, Rose sat out much of the action and did not practice. When the Patriots arrived in the State Championship series he was fitted with a special vest he wore as his doctor cleared him to play, but was cautioned not to take any physical blows to the body.

“In the series, Caden was four for seven at the plate and was terrific in playing while injured as he wouldn’t have it any other way,” said Smith. “I don’t know how many kids could have done that.”

Signed with Alabama, Rose arrived in Tuscaloosa where he split time between centerfield and second base. In three seasons, he maintained a .260 batting average while hitting 14 homeruns and driving in 61 runs. Overall, Rose was a superior defender, was fairly productive at the plate and showed good power for his smaller-in-stature size at 5-foot-10, 185-pounds.

Most people aren’t aware Rose could have gone pro right out of high school, but the money he was offered was not to his liking so he signed with Alabama where, as a freshman, had the worst batting average on the team. As a sophomore, he went from worst to first having the squad’s top batting average. In his just completed junior season, Rose suffered through several injuries, but was still a leader on the squad. “A lot of those experiences has made me stronger mentally and that’s the biggest part of being a professional baseball player,” added Rose. “I’m ready to roll as I’ve seen adversities in my life and I’m confident in my abilities.”

Growing up in Madison, Rose, the son of Kevin and Heather Rose, his trek through athletics included years of play at Madison’s Palmer Park and one of his fondest memories while there was his last year in the leagues played at the multi-sport facility. His team lost one game during the season and won the League Championship. Rose added, “Our team was the Red Sox. We called ourselves the ‘Red Hot Red Sox’ as playing on that team was a lot of fun.”

The super-talented athlete has one year remaining to complete his education and Rose said the Red Sox will pay for his final year of college when he decides to attend.

Rose has always listened to his parents and upon signing a contract and leaving home for a new venture in his life, his father did present him some fatherly advice. Rose said, “He told me don’t change who I am as that’s one of the main reasons I’m in the position I am in. He told me to stick with the process I’ve been taught. Believe in yourself.”

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