This year, the Boston Red Sox are seeing a lack of production from their catchers at the big league level. Veteran catchers A.J. Pierzynski and David Ross together did not make a good platoon, but both should be gone after the 2014 season. With this being said, the Red Sox have two impressive catching prospects in the upper minors—Christian Vazquez and Blake Swihart. Of these two me,n Vazquez is the more advanced, but Swihart definitely has the higher ceiling. Let’s take a look at Blake Swihart and why he is the Boston Red Sox catcher of the future.
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Swihart, 22, was a first round pick by the Red Sox in 2011. He came into this year adding about 30lbs, most of which was muscle, finally making him big enough to be a catcher. So far this year for the Portland Sea Dogs, Swihart is having a strong campaign, hitting .298 in 69 games while posting a .352 OBP. At the dish, the switch-hitting catcher is finally showing the power everyone was looking for. He has clipped nine homers on the year and 28 total extra base hits out of total hits. Behind the dish, Swihart is even more impressive. In 61 games catching, Swihart has gunned down 53% of would be baserunners. He always had a strong throwing arm, but his more recent success gunning men down comes from his pop time which is around 1.8. This mark is elite among Major League catchers which is why Swihart has so much success throwing men out.
In the future, Blake Swihart definitely has what it takes to be the Boston Red Sox everyday catcher. As he improves his power even more, while still being a great all-around player, Boston should see him as a viable option. Whether or not he gets the chance in 2015 is up for debate, but by 2016 do not be surprised if Blake Swihart is a regular in the Boston Red Sox lineup. Earlier in his career there were some concerns as to whether or not he could handle catching, but he has silenced those who doubted him for now at least. For the 2015 season, it seems as though Swihart will start the year in Pawtucket catching for the Paw Sox. The Red Sox will likely sign a veteran catcher to a one-year deal as sort of a bridge to the Blake Swihart era.
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The Boston Red Sox organization is very lucky to have Blake Swihart. By the end of this year, it would not be surprising if he was the Boston Red Sox top prospect. He has a bright future ahead of him and gives the club some certainty at a position in which the Major League club is in dire need of right now.