BLAKE AUBRY SWIHART
Image of
Nickname:   N/A Position:   C - LF
Home: N/A Team:   PAWTUCKET
Height: 6' 1" Bats:   S
Weight: 185 Throws:   R
DOB: 4/3/1992 Agent: Legacy Sports Group-Greg Genske
Uniform #: N/A  
Birth City: Bedford, TX
Draft: Red Sox #1 - 2011 - Out of high school (NM)
YR LEA TEAM SAL(K) G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO OBP SLG AVG
2011 GCL GCL-Red Sox   2 6 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .000 .000 .000
2012 SAL GREENVILLE   92 344 44 90 17 4 7 53 6 2 26 68 .307 .395 .262
2013 CAR SALEM   103 376 45 112 29 7 2 42 7 8 41 63 .366 .428 .298
2014 IL PAWTUCKET   18 69 6 18 3 1 1 9 1 0 2 15 .282 .377 .261
2014 EL PORTLAND   92 347 47 104 23 3 12 55 7 1 29 65 .353 .487 .300
2015 AL RED SOX   84 288 47 79 17 1 5 31 4 2 18 77 .319 .392 .274
2015 EL PORTLAND   2 7 1 3 1 0 0 0 0 0 0 2 .429 .571 .429
2015 IL PAWTUCKET   20 74 7 23 3 0 0 11 1 1 6 14 .363 .351 .311
2016 AL RED SOX $519.00 19 62 9 16 0 3 0 5 0 1 11 17 .365 .355 .258
2016 IL PAWTUCKET   29 103 13 25 4 0 1 8 2 1 17 17 .344 .311 .243
2017 IL PAWTUCKET   13 48 4 10 0 1 2 11 0 0 2 12 .250 .375 .208
Personal
  • In high school, Blake Swihart received instruction at the Albuquerque Baseball Academy from Ryan Kellner, a former catcher in the Dodgers system. As he watched the promising young player, Kellner saw similarities to Russell Martin, so he suggested that Swihart experiment with life behind the plate. He also suggested that the righthanded Swihart try his hand at switch-hitting.

    "If he walks into a showcase and teams see a 'C' for catcher and 'S' for switch-hitter, immediately there's some interest," Kellner said. "That's kind of how it came to where we put Blake, where people were forced to see his ability."

  • Blake starred with the U.S. national 18-and-under team in 2010, batting .448/.492/.845.

  • Swihart's high school senior season was highlighted by winning the Gatorade Player of the year in New Mexico.

  • Swihart committed to the University of Texas in 2011, his senior year at Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. (But then he got drafted by the Red Sox. See below.)

  • In 2012, the Baseball America Prospect Handbook rated Swihart as the 3rd-best prospect in the Red Sox organization. In the winter  before 2014 spring training, they rated Blake as 5th-best prospect in the Red Sox farm system. And he was named the #1 best prospect in the Red Sox organization in the spring of 2015.

  • In 2013, Blake was named the Red Sox minor league Defensive Player of the Year.

  • Blake has exceptional agility and athleticism for a catcher. “I’ve always been able to run really well. I’ve got a really quick first couple steps. My dad had me play basketball for a couple years just so I could get my feet quicker so I can move. That’s what makes me different from most catchers, I believe,” said Swihart.

    “I’m just kind of a different-looking catcher I guess. I feel really athletic back there. I can move really well back there. If I’m confident in myself to get in front of a ball that maybe someone else won’t get to, that may take me to the next level."

  • Admitted extrovert, Swihart has found that the best way to learn and get better at his position is simply to ask for help from all the sources around him.

    “If I have a question, I’m going to ask it, even if it’s a dumb question, I’m going to ask it. I’m going to go up to a pitcher and ask him, ‘Hey, what do you like in this situation? What do you like here? What do you like there?’” he said. “To be a catcher, you have to be a little bit vocal.”

  • January, 2015: MLB.com named Blake Swihart the best catching prospect in baseball.

  • May 2, 2015: Ever since Swihart was selected by the Red Sox in the first round of the 2011 draft, he tried to envision what it would be like to throw on the gear and catch a game at Fenway Park.

    A day after Ryan Hanigan suffered a broken bone in his right hand, Swihart got to find out.

    It was an eventful debut which included Swihart's first career hit, a mad dash from first to home on a double by Mookie Betts, and a solid afternoon of execution with starting pitcher Miley. The only downer was that the performance came in a loss to the Yankees.

    "I thought about it almost every day. It's a dream come true," Swihart said. (I Browne - Mlb.com - May 2, 2015)

  • In 2015, Arlan Swihart was in the stands at Kaufman Stadium in Kansas City with roughly 200 friends and family members, experiencing a Father's Day weekend like no other. 

    Arlan looked behind the plate when the Red Sox were on defense, and saw his son squatting down with the gear on. Blake arrived in the Major Leagues on May 2, 2015, and he's the first to admit he never would have gotten there without his dad, who pushed him constructively during his youth in New Mexico.

    "Ever since I was young, he's always been my coach," said Blake. "He showed me the fundamentals of the game. He showed me how to swing. He was my first hitting coach. Everything happens because of him. He kind of mapped out my plan for me, sports-wise, growing up."

    An athlete himself, Arlan played college basketball and softball in highly competitive leagues.

    "At some point, around the time he was 6, I figured out that he could catch everything I'd throw at him, which was probably in the mid- 80s," said Arlan. "I figured I should probably engage and try to coach him a little bit. The nice thing was he was extremely coachable. He's a pleaser. He wants to make everybody happy in the world, and he really works hard to do exactly what you want." "He texts me every single day," said Blake. "We talk every day. Sometimes, he'll text me, and he'll say, 'I think you're doing this, this and this. Think about it.' He watches everything and gives me feedback on everything. He's still my coach and dad at the same time."  (Browne - mlb.com - 6/19/15)

  • Blakes dad, Arlan Swihart learned early that his son played until the last out. "It's amazing. I remember when he was 10 years old, we were playing in a semifinal game, a tournament, and we were undefeated," said Arlan. "A kid was up to bat and some of the kids on the bench were saying, 'We're going to lose, we're going to lose,' and Blake said, 'Come on guys. We're not going to lose this game. We haven't lost all year.'"Some of the kids again said, 'We're going to lose.' And Blake said to them, 'Let's hope [the next two batters] don't know that.' One of them got on base, and the other one hit a home run. We won. Blake doesn't know the word quit."Arlan made Blake quit basketball and football late in his high school career—only because he had his son's long-term interests in mind. "You just had to look at it realistically," said Arlan. "I think his senior year in high school, you could ask his high school coach, I think they would have won the states that year. They wound up making it to the final four. He was upset with me. I said, 'Blake, I'm just your dad, trying to figure this out."'"I also think he could have played college football and been very good with his arm strength and ability to see the field. But 6-foot quarterbacks in the NFL are few and far between. I'm a risk manager, and I had to weigh what the cost-benefits were. I think baseball was where he'd have the best opportunity."

  • Swihart first realized he had the potential to play professional baseball as a sophomore in high school.

    "I was throwing a bullpen at the (Albuquerque) Baseball Academy. I hit like 88-90," Swihart said. "And then we went to watch the (Triple-A) Albuquerque Isotopes play that night with my dad. And the pitcher there was throwing 88 to 90. I was, 'Hey, dad. I can do that.' He goes, 'If you work hard, you can.'"

    Swihart, though, never considered his future to be as a professional pitcher.

    "No, no. I knew I did not want to pitch," Swihart said. "I like hitting way too much."He pitched his first two years of high school, but his dad Arlan didn't let him pitch his final two years except one special (and now memorable) occasion.  "Against my old high school," Swihart said. "He let me have 15 pitches to close the game out. The first pitch, I think it was 97 (mph). The second pitch was 97 and I hit the kid in the wrist and broke his wrist so ..."

    Swihart received confirmation when he saw the batter the following day."He showed up with a cast," Swihart said. (Christopher Smith - csmith@masslive.com - March 9, 2017)

    TRANSACTIONS

  • June 2011: The Red Sox chose Blake with their first round pick, out of Cleveland High School in Rio Rancho, New Mexico. He was Boston's compensation pick from the Rangers having signed 3B Adrian Beltre. Swihart was the highest-drafted player out of New Mexico since Shane Andrews in 1990, and it was the earliest Boston has taken a catcher since John Marzano in 1984.

    Scout Matt Mahoney signed Swihart just before the August 15 deadline, for a bonus of $2.5 million, a franchise record for a position player. Blake shows a package of tools that draws comparisons to a young Buster Posey.

Batting
  • Swihart is a switch-hitting catcher with decent power from both sides. He started switch-hitting his sophomore year of high school (2009). He has a quick line-drive bat, natural power and a good feel for hitting.

    Blake is especially impressive from the right side—his natural side—where he gets really good extension and lift. But he has more pull power as a lefthanded hitter.

  • He is an above-average hitter with potential to hit for average power. He keeps the bat in the hitting zone for a long time. He makes hard contact.

    He can hit 15-20 homers per season when he reaches his prime.

  • Swihart worked on both of his swings by switching back and forth between hitting lefthanded and righthanded, regardless of the pitcher he's facing, early in his career.

    His swing his fluid from both sides of the plate.

  • Blake is adding discipline, selectivity and more patience. He is also improving his pitch recognition. He is an aggressive swinger from both sides of the plate and has learned to take a more conservative two-strike approach.

    But overall, his aggressive approach limits his walks. He displays good pitch recognition, typically swings at strikes and sends line drives screaming to the gaps.

  • Though still stronger from the right side, Swihart shows above-average bat speed and bat control from both sides of the plate, and he won’t be beaten by velocity, while switch-hitting will limit his vulnerability to breaking balls. His swing is geared for line drives.
  • Swihart is a little inconsistent with his swing because he's very aggressive and he'll chase some pitches out of the zone, especially early in the count. But he makes a lot of hard, line-drive contact that should produce average power once he adds strength and loft to his stroke.
  • June 4, 2015: Swihart hit his first Major League home run. He became the youngest Red Sox catcher to hit a home run since Rich Gedman in 1982.
  • August 28, 2015: Swihart hit an inside-the-park homer off Carlos Torres.
  • As of the start of the 2017 season, Blake's career Major League stats were a .271 batting average, 5 home runs and 95 hits with 36 RBI's in 350 at-bats.
Fielding
  • Blake CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> an CLASS="highlight"> impressive CLASS="highlight"> backstop, CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> very CLASS="highlight"> good, CLASS="highlight"> smooth catch-and-throw CLASS="highlight"> guy. CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> good CLASS="highlight"> hands,blocking CLASS="highlight"> and receiving CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> ball CLASS="highlight"> well and CLASS="highlight"> an CLASS="highlight"> easy CLASS="highlight"> catching CLASS="highlight"> style. CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> has good athleticism.

    He CLASS="highlight"> really CLASS="highlight"> only CLASS="highlight"> started CLASS="highlight"> catching CLASS="highlight"> regularly CLASS="highlight"> during CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> summer CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> 2010. CLASS="highlight"> But CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> natural CLASS="highlight"> ability CLASS="highlight"> allowed CLASS="highlight"> him CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> come CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> very CLASS="highlight"> quickly CLASS="highlight"> back CLASS="highlight"> there. CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> quick CLASS="highlight"> feet CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> moves CLASS="highlight"> well CLASS="highlight"> back CLASS="highlight"> there. CLASS="highlight"> He's CLASS="highlight"> more CLASS="highlight"> athletic CLASS="highlight"> than CLASS="highlight"> most CLASS="highlight"> catchers.

    "I CLASS="highlight"> never CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> catcher CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> high CLASS="highlight"> school, CLASS="highlight"> so CLASS="highlight"> I CLASS="highlight"> had CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> learn CLASS="highlight"> how CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> do CLASS="highlight"> everything. CLASS="highlight"> Talk CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> everybody, CLASS="highlight"> talk CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> other CLASS="highlight"> catchers, CLASS="highlight"> talk CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> (Red CLASS="highlight"> Sox CLASS="highlight"> catching CLASS="highlight"> instructor) CLASS="highlight"> Chad CLASS="highlight"> Epperson, CLASS="highlight"> talk CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> all CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> coordinators CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> take CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> what CLASS="highlight"> I CLASS="highlight"> could CLASS="highlight"> take CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> would CLASS="highlight"> help CLASS="highlight"> me CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> best.”

  • Blake CLASS="highlight"> blocks CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> hell CLASS="highlight"> out CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> ball. CLASS="highlight"> In CLASS="highlight"> 2013, CLASS="highlight"> Swihart CLASS="highlight"> embraced CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> daily CLASS="highlight"> pre-game CLASS="highlight"> drill CLASS="highlight"> routine CLASS="highlight"> aimed CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> improving CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> ability CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> block CLASS="highlight"> pitches, CLASS="highlight"> which CLASS="highlight"> improved CLASS="highlight"> along CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> pitch CLASS="highlight"> framing CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> game CLASS="highlight"> management. CLASS="highlight"> class="InfoComponentTextLineBreak">He CLASS="highlight"> works CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> fanny CLASS="highlight"> off CLASS="highlight"> back CLASS="highlight"> there, CLASS="highlight"> runs CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> defense CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> controls CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> game CLASS="highlight"> tempo CLASS="highlight"> impressively. CLASS="highlight"> In CLASS="highlight"> fact, CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> class="InfoComponentTextPara">defining CLASS="highlight"> characteristic CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> Swihart CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> supreme CLASS="highlight"> athleticism CLASS="highlight"> behind CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> plate. CLASS="highlight"> His CLASS="highlight"> flexibility CLASS="highlight"> allows CLASS="highlight"> him CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> block CLASS="highlight"> better CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> pop CLASS="highlight"> more CLASS="highlight"> quickly CLASS="highlight"> when CLASS="highlight"> gunning CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> base-stealers.

    THROWING CLASS="highlight"> OUT CLASS="highlight"> BASE-STEALERS

  • Swihart CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> pop CLASS="highlight"> times CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> stay CLASS="highlight"> right CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> 1.95 CLASS="highlight"> seconds. CLASS="highlight"> And CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> learned CLASS="highlight"> some CLASS="highlight"> better CLASS="highlight"> release CLASS="highlight"> mechanics, CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> pop CLASS="highlight"> times dropped CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> 1.75 CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> 1.85 CLASS="highlight"> seconds.

    He CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> good CLASS="highlight"> footwork, CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> strong CLASS="highlight"> arm CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> shortened CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> arm CLASS="highlight"> stroke.

  • Blake CLASS="highlight"> uses CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> strong CLASS="highlight"> legs CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> get CLASS="highlight"> out CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> crouch CLASS="highlight"> quickly CLASS="highlight"> before CLASS="highlight"> firing CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> ball CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> 2nd CLASS="highlight"> base CLASS="highlight"> from CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> above-average CLASS="highlight"> arm. CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> pop CLASS="highlight"> times CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> 1.85 CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> 1.95.

    In CLASS="highlight"> 2012, CLASS="highlight"> Swihart CLASS="highlight"> threw CLASS="highlight"> out CLASS="highlight"> 31 CLASS="highlight"> percent CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> South CLASS="highlight"> Atlantic CLASS="highlight"> League CLASS="highlight"> basestealers.

    He CLASS="highlight"> threw CLASS="highlight"> out CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> Carolina CLASS="highlight"> League CLASS="highlight"> high CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> 42 CLASS="highlight"> percent CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> attempting CLASS="highlight"> base-thieves CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> 2013.

    With CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Double-A CLASS="highlight"> Portland CLASS="highlight"> Sea CLASS="highlight"> Dogs CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> 2014, CLASS="highlight"> Blake CLASS="highlight"> threw CLASS="highlight"> out CLASS="highlight"> 47 CLASS="highlight"> percent CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> base-stealers. CLASS="highlight"> And CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> led CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Eastern CLASS="highlight"> League CLASS="highlight"> by CLASS="highlight"> nearly CLASS="highlight"> 10 CLASS="highlight"> percent. CLASS="highlight"> His CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> class="InfoComponentTextPrimitive"> CLASS="highlight"> class="InfoComponentTextPara">pop CLASS="highlight"> times CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> 2014 CLASS="highlight"> were averaging CLASS="highlight"> about CLASS="highlight"> 1.9 CLASS="highlight"> seconds CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> getting CLASS="highlight"> below CLASS="highlight"> 1.8 CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> occasion.

  • Blake CLASS="highlight"> moves CLASS="highlight"> well CLASS="highlight"> back CLASS="highlight"> there. CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> very CLASS="highlight"> athletic.
  • Swihart CLASS="highlight"> receives CLASS="highlight"> high CLASS="highlight"> marks CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> game-calling, CLASS="highlight"> leadership CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> ability CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> read CLASS="highlight"> opposing CLASS="highlight"> hitters.

    "He's CLASS="highlight"> such CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> good CLASS="highlight"> athlete CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> he’s CLASS="highlight"> such CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> hard CLASS="highlight"> worker, CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> he’s CLASS="highlight"> really CLASS="highlight"> competitive CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> everything CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> does. CLASS="highlight"> He’s CLASS="highlight"> kind CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> taken CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> approach CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> defense,” CLASS="highlight"> Red CLASS="highlight"> Sox farm CLASS="highlight"> director CLASS="highlight"> Ben CLASS="highlight"> Crockett CLASS="highlight"> said CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> Oct, CLASS="highlight"> 2013.

    “He CLASS="highlight"> does CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> great CLASS="highlight"> job CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> separating CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> offense CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> defense. CLASS="highlight"> He’s CLASS="highlight"> always CLASS="highlight"> focused CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> pitching-catcher CLASS="highlight"> relationship, CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> I CLASS="highlight"> think CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> athleticism CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> hard CLASS="highlight"> work CLASS="highlight"> have CLASS="highlight"> paid CLASS="highlight"> off CLASS="highlight"> so CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> could CLASS="highlight"> take CLASS="highlight"> those CLASS="highlight"> steps CLASS="highlight"> forward CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> an CLASS="highlight"> excellent CLASS="highlight"> defensive CLASS="highlight"> catcher CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> an CLASS="highlight"> organization CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> couple CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> pretty CLASS="highlight"> good CLASS="highlight"> defenders.”

  • Swihart CLASS="highlight"> earned CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> 2014 CLASS="highlight"> Captain’s CLASS="highlight"> Catcher CLASS="highlight"> Award, CLASS="highlight"> given CLASS="highlight"> annually CLASS="highlight"> by CLASS="highlight"> Baseball CLASS="highlight"> America CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> best CLASS="highlight"> defensive CLASS="highlight"> catcher CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> minor CLASS="highlight"> leagues.
  • Blake CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> worked CLASS="highlight"> so CLASS="highlight"> hard CLASS="highlight"> at CLASS="highlight"> learning CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> position CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> now CLASS="highlight"> plus CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> all phases, CLASS="highlight"> whether CLASS="highlight"> it CLASS="highlight"> was CLASS="highlight"> receiving, CLASS="highlight"> throwing, CLASS="highlight"> calling CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> games, CLASS="highlight"> continuing CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> get CLASS="highlight"> better CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> better CLASS="highlight"> every CLASS="highlight"> day. CLASS="highlight"> It CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> pleasure CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> see CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> enthusiasm CLASS="highlight"> every CLASS="highlight"> day CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> desire CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> improve.

    Swihart CLASS="highlight"> is CLASS="highlight"> really CLASS="highlight"> engaged CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> game out CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> front CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> plate, CLASS="highlight"> running CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> infield CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> plays CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> taking CLASS="highlight"> charge CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> situation CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> game CLASS="highlight"> dictates.

  • Before CLASS="highlight"> 2015 CLASS="highlight"> spring CLASS="highlight"> training, CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> Baseball CLASS="highlight"> America CLASS="highlight"> writer CLASS="highlight"> asked CLASS="highlight"> some CLASS="highlight"> scouts, CLASS="highlight"> "How CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> class="InfoComponentTextPrimitive"> CLASS="highlight"> class="InfoComponentTextPara">many CLASS="highlight"> catchers CLASS="highlight"> are CLASS="highlight"> there CLASS="highlight"> like CLASS="highlight"> Swihart CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> minors?

    “There CLASS="highlight"> are CLASS="highlight"> none,” CLASS="highlight"> said CLASS="highlight"> one CLASS="highlight"> evaluator, CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> testament CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> offensive CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> defensive CLASS="highlight"> potential CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> well CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> head-turning CLASS="highlight"> athleticism. CLASS="highlight"> He CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> made CLASS="highlight"> huge CLASS="highlight"> strides CLASS="highlight"> behind CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> plate, CLASS="highlight"> where CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> now CLASS="highlight"> profiles CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> an CLASS="highlight"> above-average CLASS="highlight"> defender.

  • CLASS="highlight"> class="InfoComponentTextPrimitive"> CLASS="highlight"> class="InfoComponentTextPara">Evaluators CLASS="highlight"> marvel CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> athleticism CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> speed CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> play CLASS="highlight"> virtually CLASS="highlight"> anywhere CLASS="highlight"> on CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> field—some CLASS="highlight"> even CLASS="highlight"> suggested CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> could CLASS="highlight"> class="InfoComponentTextPrimitive"> CLASS="highlight"> class="InfoComponentTextPara">play CLASS="highlight"> center CLASS="highlight"> or CLASS="highlight"> second—though CLASS="highlight"> behind CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> plate, CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> has CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> chance CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> two-way CLASS="highlight"> force.

  • CLASS="highlight"> class="InfoComponentTextPrimitive"> CLASS="highlight"> class="InfoComponentTextPara">Blake CLASS="highlight"> added CLASS="highlight"> left CLASS="highlight"> field CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> plate CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> 2016.And CLASS="highlight"> by CLASS="highlight"> late CLASS="highlight"> May CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> was was CLASS="highlight"> already CLASS="highlight"> tracking CLASS="highlight"> down CLASS="highlight"> balls CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> gap CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> way CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> highlighted CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> unusual CLASS="highlight"> athleticism CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> above-average CLASS="highlight"> speed CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> make CLASS="highlight"> him CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> bit CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> novelty CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> catcher. CLASS="highlight"> /> CLASS="highlight"> />
  • Early CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> 2017, CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> Red CLASS="highlight"> Sox spoke CLASS="highlight"> highly CLASS="highlight"> of CLASS="highlight"> the CLASS="highlight"> improvements CLASS="highlight"> made CLASS="highlight"> by CLASS="highlight"> Swihart CLASS="highlight"> in CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> setup, CLASS="highlight"> permitting CLASS="highlight"> him CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> create CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> better CLASS="highlight"> target CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> pitchers CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> improve CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> framing CLASS="highlight"> ability. CLASS="highlight"> /> CLASS="highlight"> />

    Catching CLASS="highlight"> instructor Dana CLASS="highlight"> LeVangie noted CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> Swihart CLASS="highlight"> needs CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> refine CLASS="highlight"> elements CLASS="highlight"> such CLASS="highlight"> as CLASS="highlight"> blocking CLASS="highlight"> so CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> he CLASS="highlight"> feels CLASS="highlight"> more CLASS="highlight"> comfortable CLASS="highlight"> calling CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> secondary CLASS="highlight"> pitches CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> might CLASS="highlight"> bounce.

    “It’s CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> really CLASS="highlight"> good CLASS="highlight"> option CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> we CLASS="highlight"> have CLASS="highlight"> Blake CLASS="highlight"> Swihart, CLASS="highlight"> who’s CLASS="highlight"> built CLASS="highlight"> his CLASS="highlight"> stock CLASS="highlight"> back CLASS="highlight"> up CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> where CLASS="highlight"> it CLASS="highlight"> needs CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> for CLASS="highlight"> him CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> us. CLASS="highlight"> We’ve CLASS="highlight"> got CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> good CLASS="highlight"> thing CLASS="highlight"> . CLASS="highlight"> . CLASS="highlight"> . CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight">

    “He CLASS="highlight"> needs CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> go CLASS="highlight"> out CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> play CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> lot, CLASS="highlight"> play CLASS="highlight"> when CLASS="highlight"> he’s CLASS="highlight"> feeling CLASS="highlight"> good CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> feeling CLASS="highlight"> tired, CLASS="highlight"> and CLASS="highlight"> learn CLASS="highlight"> how CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> be CLASS="highlight"> more CLASS="highlight"> consistent CLASS="highlight"> that CLASS="highlight"> way,” CLASS="highlight"> LeVangie CLASS="highlight"> said. CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> CLASS="highlight"> “He’s CLASS="highlight"> not CLASS="highlight"> a CLASS="highlight"> finished CLASS="highlight"> product, CLASS="highlight"> but CLASS="highlight"> he’s CLASS="highlight"> making CLASS="highlight"> strides CLASS="highlight"> to CLASS="highlight"> become CLASS="highlight"> more CLASS="highlight"> effective CLASS="highlight"> back CLASS="highlight"> there.” CLASS="highlight"> (Alex CLASS="highlight"> Speier CLASS="highlight"> - CLASS="highlight"> Baseball CLASS="highlight"> America CLASS="highlight"> - CLASS="highlight"> 4/21/2017)

Running

  • Blake lacks speed. He is pretty slow on the bases, even for a catcher.
Career Injury Report
  • August 1-15, 2012: Swihart was on the D.L. with a strained hip flexor.
  • July 1-20, 2015: Blake was on the D.L. with a sprained left foot.
  • June 5-Nov. 3, 2016: Blake was on the DL with a left ankle strain.

    That required the repair of his peroneal tendon sheath in the ankle
    .

  • April 30, 2017:  A left finger contusion put Swihart on the DL.