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Amateur Draft Profile: Blake Swihart, C, Cleveland HS, Rio Rancho, N.M


Blake Swihart is a switch hitting catcher with power from both sides of the plate. He has good bat speed, makes consistent contact, and should hit for average and power.  

It's unclear where Swihart's eventual defensive home will be. He's an athletic player who has split time behind the plate catching and 3rd base. Some scouts think that catching might be his ultimate position, but others think that he is destined for a corner outfield position.  Blake Swihart versatility, athleticism, and above average bat could get the attention of Bobby Heck and his staff.  

Blake Swihart is expected to be a tough sign due to his strong commitment to the University of Texas and high asking price. He could go anywhere from the middle to late first round in this year's draft, but could fall late in the first round due to sign ability.


Blake Swihart has a plus bat that could hit for power and average and the next level. He is an athletic kid with an above average arm that can play multiple positions, but his plus bat would suggest that he is moved to a corner outfield position much like last year's number one draft pick Bryce Harper.


The biggest concern for Swihart could be what position he will play at the next level. For an athletic kid, he doesn't have speed and this could prevent him from moving to an infield position. He is still working on switch hitting which he picked up his sophomore year of high school and often flips his batting stance regardless of it's a right handed or left handed pitcher.

Will the Astros pick him? If so, where?

It's very possible that the Houston Astros target Blake Swihart with the 11th pick in the first round due to his raw potential, but it's more likely that he goes somewhere in the middle to late first round. This could be a little high for Blake Swihart, but Bobby Heck and his staff have never been afraid to go against the popular vote and select the player of their choice. If the Houston Astros decide that they're going to select Swihart then it's going to have to be with the #11 pick in the first round because it's unlikely that he makes it to the 60th pick in the 2nd round.  

Where is he projected to go right now?

ESPN: 26th to the Boston Red Sox

Baseball America: 33rd to the Texas Rangers

Scouting Videos


What Scout's say about him...

Keith Law:

Swihart is one of the best high school position players in this draft, but it's more about projection of his skills than about present abilities.

He's an athletic kid with bat speed and arm strength who plays all over the diamond and hasn't had a chance to develop much as a catcher, but I think that's his ultimate position in pro ball. His arm is plus, but he's currently not quick to release the ball, and while his hands are fine his receiving needs work.

As a hitter, he has bat speed and his hips start to rotate properly, but he gets out on his front foot early and doesn't finish that hip rotation at all, producing weaker contact and cutting off his chance not just to hit for power but to hit. If he keeps his weight back better and lets his hands follow his hips, he's got a chance to be plus in both hitting tools, which is all the more reason he needs to sign now and get into pro ball rather than go to the University of Texas.

Baseball America:

Swihart spent most of last summer with Team USA, and he led the team by batting .448/.492/.845 with six doubles and five home runs. The natural right-hander picked up switch-hitting during his sophomore year of high school and started catching seriously just last summer. This spring he has split time between third base and behind the plate. Swihart is a good athlete who is an above-average hitter with average power potential. He hadn't put up gaudy numbers against inferior competition this spring, but he is clearly focused on the future: Swihart works on both of his swings by switching back and forth between hitting left-handed and right-handed, regardless of the pitcher he's facing. Swihart's athleticism shows up behind the plate. He receives well and shows good footwork. He has a strong arm and has shortened his arm stroke this spring. He obviously would have more value at catcher, but his athleticism and potent bat may tempt a team to move him to another position. Swihart is 6 feet and 175 pounds and baby-faced, so some scouts think he'll get taller and stronger as he matures. He is committed to Texas, and would be eligible for the draft again as a sophomore if he goes to college.