Catchers are a hot commodity in Major League Baseball so when a team's top prospect is a catcher, the future looks bright for sure. Luckily for the Boston Red Sox, their top prospect is Blake Swihart, a catcher who they drafted in the first round of the 2011 MLB draft.
In 110 games split between AA Portland and AAA Pawtucket last season, Swihart hit .293 with a .341 OBP and smacked 13 home runs in all. Defensively, he was excellent gunning down 45.6% of attempted base stealers, placing him among the top catchers in the minors defensively as well.
Unfortunately for Swihart who looks to make his big league debut this season, he is blocked at the big league level by another young catcher-- Christian Vazquez. Right now Vazquez has the upper hand in the battle for future Boston Red Sox catcher thanks to his big league experience.
Just because Swihart is an excellent catcher, that does not mean that he must necessarily be a catcher for his entire career.
"I'll play wherever anyone wants me to play," he said in an article on Mass Live. "I love catching. If that's where they want me to be, that's what I'm going to work on."
As athletic as he is, Swihart could play almost anywhere and could help the Red Sox win ball games later on this season if they can get his bat in the lineup as long as all goes well.
His name has also come up in rumors of a Cole Hamels trade, although the validity of these rumors is suspect. On paper though, including Swihart as the centerpiece of such a deal would help the Red Sox out this season.
"We'll see what happens," Swihart said. "I've got to play like I know I can play, no matter where I'm at, and just focus on that at that time."