2011 Draft: Blake Swihart

Mailbag: Swisher, Posey, Pitching, Veras
Minors Notes: Anderson, Sanchez, Injuries, More

The draft is just ten days away, so between now and then I’m going to highlight some players individually rather than lump a few together in one post.

(Photo Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn, ESPN)

Blake Swihart | C

After helping Rio Rancho High School to the New Mexico state championship as a sophomore, Swihart transferred to the nearby and brand-new Cleveland High School, where he supposedly has a 4.0 GPA. His showcase performances with Team USA, the Area Code Games, and the AFLAC All-American Game are the stuff of legend, as he’s routinely wowed onlookers over the last few summers. He is committed to Texas.

Scouting Report
Swihart is a rare breed. He’s a true switch-hitter with the potential to have power and be above-average from both sides of the plate. He spent the spring focusing on his development by alternating sides of the plate from at-bat to at-bat regardless of the pitcher’s handedness. The 6-foot-0, 170 lb. Swihart is a very good athlete that spent most of his high school career bouncing around the infield before moving behind the plate in earnest just last year. His arm is strong and his footwork is good, but he’s raw defensively and just needs more experience. If catching doesn’t work out for whatever reason, third base and right field are legitimate fallback options. Here’s some video.

In yesterday’s chat, Keith Law said that Swihart “keeps telling teams he has no interest in signing this year,” which is probably just a way of manufacturing leverage as one of the draft’s best high school prospects. KLaw and Baseball America rated him as the 17th and 19th best draft prospect in their latest rankings, respectively. Swihart has significant upside but still has a lot of work to do, and some team will surely offer him life changing money to see that he does that work under professional instruction and not some college coaching staff. The Yankees would have to hope that those bonus demands scare some teams into looking elsewhere if they hope to land Swihart with the 51st overall pick.

Mailbag: Swisher, Posey, Pitching, Veras
Minors Notes: Anderson, Sanchez, Injuries, More
  • Charles

    Looks like a great prospect, I see 2 problems though.

    1. His 17th/19th ranking makes it pretty unlikely he drops to 51.

    2. Hes a catcher, do we really need another catching prospect? Also because he’s a catcher I’m pretty sure some team before us will take a flyer on him.

    • pat

      BPA all day. Position is meaningless.

    • http://www.twitter.com/deanezag Zack

      #2 is a non-issue. He’d be 4-5 years away from the ML after he’s drafted, you have no clue what happens to the depth chart from now to then.

    • Ted Nelson

      1. The bonus demands and commitment to Texas as an apparent 4.0 student are what would make him slip.

      2. Agree with the two above. You go with BPA. In this case the Yankees have a ton of C depth, but they don’t necessarily at 3B or RF… so if they really like Swihart’s bat they can move him around. They can also always trade their C depth, and C is a premium position that can make for valuable trade assets.

  • YankeesJunkie

    The big thing that I would like to see the Yankees do with their first pick is to be more aggressive than a Cito Culver pick. While the Oppenheimer may have loved Culver and his skills the fact still remains that he still signed for slot and was not that highly touted. I would much rather see the Yankees be much more aggressive and sign a higher end player even if that means going over slot considering the crop of talent that there is for this draft.

    • dennis

      Why do you think that just because Law says someone is highly touted the Yankees value him that way. Just cause the red sox draft like Keith Law is running their draft doesn’t mean that every team values every player the same.

  • pete

    uggggly swing, especially RH

    • Phil

      That’s crazy!

      Smooth, steady swing w/pop through the hitting area from both sides. Kid needs to fill out but he’s what, 16, 17? Real good looking prospect!

      Once again, kudos to Levine for flushing our extra draft pick.