Swihart Ready For The Jump

Greenville, SC- With a first-round pick in 2012, switch-hitting catcher Blake Swihart has big leagues written all over him. With only a couple of solid years of catching under his belt, time behind the plate is going to be the biggest beneficiary before he can make a run to the majors but it's his advanced bat that has him ready for the long-season leagues already.

"My overall game, but mainly my catching I need to improve on- my receiving, my blocking, everything, every aspect. I haven't caught a lot," Swihart admitted in what he's going to be working on this season.

Beginning his career as a catcher as a junior in high school, Swihart knows that playing time and experience are going to be what solidifies him as not just a threat offensively but defensively as well.

"[Blake] is only nineteen years old, I think he needs to put a little more time behind the plate," said manager Carlos Febles, "[Though] he is coming along behind the plate. He's a great kid. I think he's going to be something in the future. He's gonna be a heck of a player. He's got the talent, he's got the tools and works real hard."

Febles explains how Swihart is an offensive gem by being a switch-hitter. The fact that he is able to use Swihart offensively on both sides of the plate will prove to be valuable when matching up against opposing pitchers.

"He has a pretty advanced offensive approach, especially for someone who's only nineteen years old," explained hitting coach Darren Fenster. "He's got some very, very good hands and ability to create some bat speed.

"You watch him swing and watch the way the ball comes off the bat and [that] it's pretty easy, and that's one of the reasons he was drafted where he was."

After being drafted Swihart spent the off-season bulking up and gaining about twenty pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-one frame that he credits to running, Cross Fit, lifting weights, all of which will undoubtedly help him deal with the physical grind of everyday playing.

"Learning what to call when and learning the pitchers is gonna be the toughest thing. Calling what they like in what situations and knowing what they want," Swihart said regarding what the hardest adjustments were going into Spring Training. "I learned a lot from the older guys. It was good experience.

"I'm ready, I'm excited," said Swihart.

With Swihart's dedication, hard work and commitment to putting time behind the plate, he's setting himself up to be a standout player in not only Greenville but also the South Atlantic League.

"I don't know what their plan was originally going into Spring Training," Fenster said, "but he did a lot of really impressive things that made the people up top believe that he was ready for this level."

Diehard Magazine Top Stories

\r\n \r\n\r\n\"My overall game, but mainly my catching I need to improve on- my receiving, my blocking, everything, every aspect. I haven't caught a lot,\" Swihart admitted in what he's going to be working on this season.
\r\n
\r\nBeginning his career as a catcher as a junior in high school, Swihart knows that playing time and experience are going to be what solidifies him as not just a threat offensively but defensively as well.
\r\n
\r\n\"[Blake] is only nineteen years old, I think he needs to put a little more time behind the plate,\" said manager Carlos Febles, \"[Though] he is coming along behind the plate. He's a great kid. I think he's going to be something in the future. He's gonna be a heck of a player. He's got the talent, he's got the tools and works real hard.\"
\r\n
\r\nFebles explains how Swihart is an offensive gem by being a switch-hitter. The fact that he is able to use Swihart offensively on both sides of the plate will prove to be valuable when matching up against opposing pitchers.
\r\n
\r\n\"He has a pretty advanced offensive approach, especially for someone who's only nineteen years old,\" explained hitting coach Darren Fenster. \"He's got some very, very good hands and ability to create some bat speed.
\r\n
\r\n\"You watch him swing and watch the way the ball comes off the bat and [that] it's pretty easy, and that's one of the reasons he was drafted where he was.\"
\r\n
\r\nAfter being drafted Swihart spent the off-season bulking up and gaining about twenty pounds of muscle to his 6-foot-one frame that he credits to running, Cross Fit, lifting weights, all of which will undoubtedly help him deal with the physical grind of everyday playing.
\r\n
\r\n\"Learning what to call when and learning the pitchers is gonna be the toughest thing. Calling what they like in what situations and knowing what they want,\" Swihart said regarding what the hardest adjustments were going into Spring Training. \"I learned a lot from the older guys. It was good experience.
\r\n
\r\n\"I'm ready, I'm excited,\" said Swihart.
\r\n
\r\nWith Swihart's dedication, hard work and commitment to putting time behind the plate, he's setting himself up to be a standout player in not only Greenville but also the South Atlantic League.
\r\n
\r\n\"I don't know what their plan was originally going into Spring Training,\" Fenster said, \"but he did a lot of really impressive things that made the people up top believe that he was ready for this level.\"
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