The Rangers announced that they’ve released catcher/outfielder Blake Swihart. He had been at the Rangers’ alternate training site as part of their 60-man player pool.
Formerly a high-end prospect with the Red Sox, Swihart appeared in the majors with the club from 2015-19 before it traded him to Arizona last year. The Diamondbacks outrighted Swihart late in the summer, but he stayed with the organization through the end of the season. Swihart then elected free agency over the winter and wound up with the Rangers on a minor league contract.
Back when the Rangers signed Swihart, they were coming off a year in which their catchers were perhaps the least productive in the majors. Their backstops have continued to struggle this season, but Swihart still wasn’t able to make his way to their big league roster. The 28-year-old will return to the open market as the owner of a .243/.301/.355 line with 12 home runs and 10 stolen bases in 696 plate appearances.
Swihart and Refsnyder available AT THE SAME TIME!
Whoever snaps them up at no prospect cost is a WS lock!
My FAAB budget would be blown.
You win the day with that comment
While I can’t prove it, I think AtlSoxFan beat more people to the punch here than in any previous MLBTR comment.
Rangers are the terminators. Bird, then Ref, then Swihart…
FredMcGriff for the HOF
Get him Yankees.
Angel’s? worth a flier
never understood why this guy was always considered the next big thing
Well, you’ve got to start with being a C, which is kind of a premium position at the time.
Next, he was not only a switch hitter, but, he generally showed balance at the time as having actual hit tools from both sides – unlike many who ‘could’ hit in theory, but are average from one side and barely able to hit out of a wet bag on the other.
Finally, he was YOUNG when first called up. He showed actual promise in calling and defense but needed work. The hit tool was considered advanced for age and level and showed some pop.
The Red Sox mismanaged the final 1/3 or so of what was supposed to be his development, rushing him up to the show but not giving consistent playing time or ABs after – actually it was VERY sporadic with big gaps between starts. Then they kept pushing him around the diamond into new positions.
So, at the time he looked like there was a lot there, and a team basically screwed him up and all their jerking him around contributed to his getting hurt playing those unfamiliar positions.
Yeah that’s a pretty good synopsis.
The Sebastián Telfair of baseball
Biggest problem is he’s not a catcher. He’s a utility guy. If I’m not mistaken, When he was drafted he was not a catcher full time. Then, he was coming up the save time Vasquez was, who is a MUCH better defensive player. I think this guy could be like another Brock Holt if given the change to play multiple positions.
You can look up his defense. He was highly regarded behind the plate. MLB. had this to say about him while ranking him the best C prospect for 2015
“While his defense alone could make him a big league regular, Swihart offers offensive promise as well. A switch-hitter proficient from both sides of the plate, he makes consistent hard contact and began to tap into what should become average power last season. He could develop into a .280 hitter with 15 homers per season, though he may not draw many walks because he puts that bat on the ball so easily.”
“Catcher Blake Swihart, who continues to impress with his consistent approach at the plate and his skills on the defensive side, is ranked No. 18. Though he didn’t become a regular catcher until 2010, Swihart is now the game’s top prospect at the position, reminding many of a young Buster Posey. He threw out 46 percent of potential basestealers in 2014 and didn’t commit a passed ball in 97 games.”
Being on a big market team with high expectations and sensationalist writers didn’t help.
You neglected to include the injury playing left.
Sounds alot like rangers and profar. Dude went from #1 prospect to a mismanaged injury that took 2 seasons to get back on field. Then moved him all over and now hes jumping team to team barely able to stay in majors
Really good synopsis. Seem to recall one of his more serious injuries coming to his ankle, playing of all positions LF at fenway park one time.
Think he only started catching partially thru his HS days and as most know.. Was drafted out of HS. His defense always lagged behind his hitting. Had he been with some other franchise initially where “fame” not followed? Might have had a much better chance early on of reaching his peak.
You’re telling me teams have a chance at getting both Swihart AND Refsnyder? Not every day you get the chance to sign 2 future HOFers.
Why make a trade when they’re are 2 HOFers on the market…
Swihart and Refsynder could definitely be in the hall of fame. They just have to buy a ticket.
surely guys in the Hall already get in for free
Why trade for Bundy or Lynn when you could get Swihart and Refsyneder.
Superstar Car Wash
He could still end up being a Hall of Famer, right? Ichiro didn’t make his debut until 27!
Wasn’t Ichiro already a lock for the Japanese HOF when he cane to the a United States?
Good god I hope ur both kidding
I can see the Pirates and Ben Cherrington signing him. We need Catchers badly w/ Luke Maile our offseason signing out for the year. He’s 28 years old though, not really a prospect anymore. I don’t see him picking it up now but Cherrington probably knows him best.
Don’t forget about Greg Bird. That’s 3 Hall of Famers Rangers released
Stallings has been pretty decent, but the Pirates catching depth chart might be the weakest of any position group of any team in any pro sport.
Fangraphs lists their top 42 prospects. Not one catcher.
Lol, ya, it’s bad. I don’t think Luke Maile would have been bad this year if he didn’t get hurt. And atleast he’s under 30. I don’t think Stallings is any better than a back-up or 3rd Catcher for depth. Every trade I want the Pirates to make would involve a Catcher and Relief Pitching..lol. I would want the Pirates to trade Trevor Williams and Colin Moran to the Braves for W.Contraes and AJ Minter. Trade Adam Frazier to Oakland for J.Helm and Lou Trivino. If we trade Josh Bell, try Texas 1st and try to get Sam Huff. Those would be my 1st try and gets if I was the Pirates GM.
Stallings is a guy that a lot of teams would LOVE to have as a second stringer, some as a starter. Such is the state of catching talent in today’s game.
If the Pirates need a catcher, then they don’t need Swihart
I agree; I just think Ben Cherrington, Boston’s former GM knows him best and if anyone signs him it would probably be him. We don’t need another bad Catcher. We are good on those.
The Milwaukee Milkmen have 2 HOFers on their roster next year.
Swihart’s reputation as a hitter lived on because he hit .274 in his first year with a 90 OPS+, which is good for a catcher. But it was built on a 13 game stretch where he had a BAbip of .618. Had his BAbip that year been in line with the rest of his career, he would have hit about .230 for the year and fans’ expectations would be a lot different. He hasn’t really been impressive with the bat since AA. His career AAA OPS is .628, which is atrocious. Also, I read over and over that he was brought up young, but he was 23, which is the most common age for a 1st rounder to debut.
In early 2015, I can recall the Red Sox and the Phillies in trade talks for a then-in-his-prime Cole Hamels, and when the Phillies apparently agreed to part with Hamels in return for then-hot prospect Blake Swihart, the Red Sox front office flatly refused to give up Swihart for Hamels. That was how highly Swihart was once regarded.
Every team has those can’t miss prospects who actually do miss. Is Swihart any different than the Sox phenom before him, Lars Anderson? Anderson though ended up bringing Boston Stephen Wright.
But- watching his catching skills…. very poor. Tons of potential but as a catcher he looks awkward and uncoordinated.
Hello Blake, San Francisco Giants calling…..
You have to wonder if the Sox killed his career if they weren’t happy with what they say but other teams and sports analyst did why didn’t they trade him considering they didn’t get anything for him anyways they seem to do that with a lot of players I’m sure all teams do it to but I feel like they do it more
You think Trevino is struggling?? By what measure?