Blake Swihart got the call of a lifetime Saturday when general manager Ben Cherington informed him he was being promoted to the big leagues. While Swihart garnered a fair amount of attention down in Triple-AAA, he’ll have to get acclimated to a whole new beast in the Boston spotlight.
Peter Elliott – Lead NFL and MLB writer – @PelliottSports
According to Baseball America, Swihart is the 17th ranked prospect in all of baseball and deservedly so after a .333/.375/.533 slash line in Spring Training with the Red Sox.
The plan for the Red Sox was to wait on Swihart to develop on Triple-AAA, but as I reported earlier in the year, Red Sox starting Catcher Christian Vazquez was forced to undergo Tommy John surgery, and both newly acquired catchers Sandy Leon and Ryan Hanigan went down with injuries.
In his 18 games with the Pawtucket Red Sox so far in the year, Swihart has performed well, posting a similar slash line of .338/.392/.382.
Much like Vazquez, Swihart is very good defensively. In Swihart’s 279 career games behind the plate, he has a career .989 fielding percentage with Red Sox affiliated clubs. The 23-year-old has solid arm strength and is a very accurate thrower who can gun down base swipers at a high percentage.
Cherington spoke of Swihart near the end of Spring Training, saying, “We obviously think very highly of him. He’s just progressed very steadily through the organization. He has a great combination of skills, makeup, and toughness,” Cherington said. “He has a lot of good things going for him, but he just barely got to Triple-AAA last year and coming into spring it was clear that he was going to Pawtucket, this was his year to go to Pawtucket and we still feel like that was the right thing for him and for the team.”
Former Red Sox Catcher Jarrod Saltalamacchia was released by the Miami Marlins earlier this week, and many speculated as to if the Sox would pursue him. But even if they could pay him a league minimum contract, the Sox were reportedly not interested in picking up the backstop.
Peter Elliott writes about the NFL and MLB for Talking Baws.