Forsythe Believing in Himself

ST. LUCIE, FL - Blake Forsythe takes a lot of pride in catching. He has made adjustments to improve his game both offensively and defensively this season, and the St. Lucie backstop has worked to instill trust and earn the respect of the pitching staff.

Blake Forsythe was a third round selection out of the University of Tennessee in the 2010 draft. He grew up playing baseball with his brother, Logan, who was picked in the first round by the San Diego Padres in the 2008 draft and plays for them today. Blake hopes to maintain consistency so that he can one day play in the bigs as well.

"In previous years I've shown flashes of good things here and there, then next thing you know it'll be gone," Forsythe said flatly. "This year I was really focusing on finding my groove to put myself in a position to succeed more consistently. That goes both offensively and defensively."

Offensively, Forsythe has been a little steadier this season. Last season he hit .235 with nine home runs, 56 walks, 123 strikeouts and an OBP of .334. This season he is currently hitting .262 with seven home runs, 38 walks, 78 strikeouts and an OBP of .362.

"He has gotten a lot more at-bats and more experience up here," St. Lucie manager Ryan Ellis said. "He has done a better job recognizing offspeed pitches and zoning in on good fastballs that he looking to hit."

"I think I'm working counts pretty well," Forsythe opined. "I've had a lot of walks in the past. Strikeouts are high too, but just giving quality at-bats is my main focus."

Forsythe's strikeouts are pretty high but he also walks a good amount and it is reflected in his on base percentage. He has pitch recognition and balance. If he can make more contact down the road, he can become an effective hitter.

Forsythe wants to become more successful at the plate and believes in himself.

"A lot of teams don't lean on you to be that productive offensively at the catcher position," Forsythe conveyed. "But, I put it upon myself because I know I'm able to do that. I put it on myself to help the team as much as I can.

"When the opportunity comes, if there's a situation that has to be taken care of then I want to have the confidence of our manager and the coaching staff that I can get the job done."

St. Lucie hitting coach Benny Distefano explained Forsythe's improvement as a hitter this season.

"I think he has figured out some things to be the core of his foundation going forward. He has realized things that are going to make him a more consistent hitter at the plate and he's retaining it really well right now."

Defensively, Forsythe has been solid behind the plate and he has developed a rapport with the St. Lucie pitching staff. Before each game Forsythe goes over the books on every opposing hitter with the St. Lucie starting pitcher for that day. He makes sure that there is a mutual understanding of the game plan between him and the pitcher.

"I take a lot of pride in my catching," Forsythe said. "I like earning the confidence of my pitchers and my coaches. Having that trust that I'm going to be back there getting the job done is important."

Forsythe actually changed his catching position from in the past and is getting more comfortable behind the plate. St. Lucie coach Jose Carreno has worked with Forsythe on technique and mechanics.

"He used to stand up and snap the ball to second base," Carreno clarified. "Now he stays down and through the ball when throwing out runners and makes good throws to second base."

Carreno also had Forsythe move closer to the hitter because balls in the dirt were taking difficult bounces off his body, and created problems on the base paths.

"There was about a two foot gap at times, he was really deep in the box," Carreno revealed. "He has moved closer to the hitter now."

"Every time he'd go down to block the ball, it wouldn't short hop it would be a long hop," Ellis explained. "On a long hop the ball could spray instead of kind of smothering it. Since he has moved up, whenever he kicks back the ball will come up and short hop."

Forsythe has done a decent job at throwing out runners on the base paths. There have been 84 attempted steals while Forsythe was behind the plate. Of those attempts, 58 have been successful and 26 were caught stealing. That gives him a .310 caught stealing percentage.

"I try to keep the running game short," Forsythe said. "I enjoy having the ability to throw some guys out. I take it as a challenge. I love it."

While Forsythe seeks to improve his all-around game, there is no question that he is committed.

"It's all about building on a foundation and working off it," Forsythe concluded.


Amazin Clubhouse Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\nBlake Forsythe was a third round selection out of the University of Tennessee in the 2010 draft. He grew up playing baseball with his brother, Logan, who was picked in the first round by the San Diego Padres in the 2008 draft and plays for them today. Blake hopes to maintain consistency so that he can one day play in the bigs as well.
\r\n
\r\n\"In previous years I've shown flashes of good things here and there, then next thing you know it'll be gone,\" Forsythe said flatly. \"This year I was really focusing on finding my groove to put myself in a position to succeed more consistently. That goes both offensively and defensively.\"
\r\n
\r\nOffensively, Forsythe has been a little steadier this season. Last season he hit .235 with nine home runs, 56 walks, 123 strikeouts and an OBP of .334. This season he is currently hitting .262 with seven home runs, 38 walks, 78 strikeouts and an OBP of .362.
\r\n
\r\n\"He has gotten a lot more at-bats and more experience up here,\" St. Lucie manager Ryan Ellis said. \"He has done a better job recognizing offspeed pitches and zoning in on good fastballs that he looking to hit.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"I think I'm working counts pretty well,\" Forsythe opined. \"I've had a lot of walks in the past. Strikeouts are high too, but just giving quality at-bats is my main focus.\"
\r\n
\r\nForsythe's strikeouts are pretty high but he also walks a good amount and it is reflected in his on base percentage. He has pitch recognition and balance. If he can make more contact down the road, he can become an effective hitter.
\r\n
\r\nForsythe wants to become more successful at the plate and believes in himself.
\r\n
\r\n\"A lot of teams don't lean on you to be that productive offensively at the catcher position,\" Forsythe conveyed. \"But, I put it upon myself because I know I'm able to do that. I put it on myself to help the team as much as I can.
\r\n
\r\n\"When the opportunity comes, if there's a situation that has to be taken care of then I want to have the confidence of our manager and the coaching staff that I can get the job done.\"
\r\n
\r\nSt. Lucie hitting coach Benny Distefano explained Forsythe's improvement as a hitter this season.
\r\n
\r\n\"I think he has figured out some things to be the core of his foundation going forward. He has realized things that are going to make him a more consistent hitter at the plate and he's retaining it really well right now.\"
\r\n
\r\nDefensively, Forsythe has been solid behind the plate and he has developed a rapport with the St. Lucie pitching staff. Before each game Forsythe goes over the books on every opposing hitter with the St. Lucie starting pitcher for that day. He makes sure that there is a mutual understanding of the game plan between him and the pitcher.
\r\n
\r\n\"I take a lot of pride in my catching,\" Forsythe said. \"I like earning the confidence of my pitchers and my coaches. Having that trust that I'm going to be back there getting the job done is important.\"
\r\n
\r\nForsythe actually changed his catching position from in the past and is getting more comfortable behind the plate. St. Lucie coach Jose Carreno has worked with Forsythe on technique and mechanics.
\r\n
\r\n\"He used to stand up and snap the ball to second base,\" Carreno clarified. \"Now he stays down and through the ball when throwing out runners and makes good throws to second base.\"
\r\n
\r\nCarreno also had Forsythe move closer to the hitter because balls in the dirt were taking difficult bounces off his body, and created problems on the base paths.
\r\n
\r\n\"There was about a two foot gap at times, he was really deep in the box,\" Carreno revealed. \"He has moved closer to the hitter now.\"
\r\n
\r\n\"Every time he'd go down to block the ball, it wouldn't short hop it would be a long hop,\" Ellis explained. \"On a long hop the ball could spray instead of kind of smothering it. Since he has moved up, whenever he kicks back the ball will come up and short hop.\"
\r\n
\r\nForsythe has done a decent job at throwing out runners on the base paths. There have been 84 attempted steals while Forsythe was behind the plate. Of those attempts, 58 have been successful and 26 were caught stealing. That gives him a .310 caught stealing percentage.
\r\n
\r\n\"I try to keep the running game short,\" Forsythe said. \"I enjoy having the ability to throw some guys out. I take it as a challenge. I love it.\"
\r\n
\r\nWhile Forsythe seeks to improve his all-around game, there is no question that he is committed.
\r\n
\r\n\"It's all about building on a foundation and working off it,\" Forsythe concluded.
\r\n
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