Blake Swihart was once a prominent prospect for the Red Sox. He made his MLB debut in 2015 and was seen as the catcher of the future. Fast-forward three years later and he is now at a crossroad. The once top prospect has dealt with numerous injuries. With the emergence of Christian Vazquez, it looks as if Swihart may no longer be the catcher of the future. This Spring Training is crucial for him as he has no options left and must prove himself to earn a spot.
How Swihart Got to This Point
In the minor leagues Swihart had more upside due to his offensive ability. Vazquez did not have much offensive upside but received comparisons to Yadier Molina due to his defense. In 2015 Swihart made his debut and impressed with the bat. Despite his offense he struggled defensively. In Spring Training of 2016, the Red Sox tried to utilize his athleticism in the outfield. On June 4th, 2016, he crashed into the outfield wall, badly injuring his ankle. Since then he has struggled to be the player that made him the Red Sox’s top prospect.
Photo Credit: AP Photo/ Patrick Semansky
What Now for Swihart?
For Swihart his chances of being the starting catcher may be gone. This is due to the injuries he has suffered and Vazquez’s breakout season. Last year Vazquez showed that he could hit MLB pitching, something people doubted before. The Sox have tried Swihart at different positions such as third and first base. His best option may be using his athleticism to become a super utility player. This would create more depth for the Red Sox and give him more trade value. The team has been hesitant to trade him because of his potential. If the right deal comes along however the Red Sox will not hesitate.
Photo Credit: Winslow Townson
Outlook for 2018
This year will be very important for the once top prospect. He must show that he can stay healthy and still be a good hitter. If he can do that than the Red Sox will try to get his bat in the lineup. With all the injuries he has suffered Swihart would be a great comeback story for the 2018 season. The Red Sox haven’t give up on him yet and he will be more determined than ever.