Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Blake Swihart's 2018 'Moment Of Truth' Has Arrived

Swihart In 2014 (FenwayNation Photo)
There was a time when Blake Swihart was a 'can't miss' prospect in the Red Sox organization. He was on-track to be the catcher of future—a talented backstop who could also hit. When we interviewed him back in January of 2014, he was unfazed by the array of other young catching prospects in the organization at the time (Ryan Lavarnway, Christian Vazquez, Dan Butler, Jon Denney). In 2016, he suffered a nasty ankle injury—but not while catching, while patrolling LF at Fenway. Swihart needed surgery on the ankle, and when he was ready to return last Spring Training, he pushed himself a little too hard. The ankle was still balky, and he had a nothing 2017—mostly in the minor leagues. To make matters even worse, Swihart contracted a parasite while playing in the Dominican Winter League this year—losing 25 pounds in the process. Now, it's pretty much the last shot for the soon-to-be 26-year-old. He's in camp, confident, and as WEEI's Rob Bradford reports, intent on making the roster as a catcher. This despite the fact that both Vazquez and Sandy Leon are ahead of him in the queue. The bottom line is this kid has talent—especially with the bat. While he is out of options, it would be nice to seem him stick with the team.