June 6, 2011 at 8:52 PM
With the 26th overall pick in the draft, the Red Sox have selected Blake Swihart, a catcher from V. Sue Cleveland HS (N.M.).
A switch-hitter with a great swing from both sides of the plate, Swihart has a very high ceiling both in terms of hitting for average and power. He has excellent batspeed right now, and projects to add power as he matures and his body fills out. Some experts have projected him to profile as a future .300 hitter with 20+ homers.
Swihart impressed with the 18U National Team last summer, leading a team that featured fellow first-rounders Bubba Starling and Francisco Lindor in batting average (.448), home runs (5), slugging percentage (.845), on-base percentage (.492), and total bases (49) in 17 games. He earned Gatorade Player of the Year honors and was named a Rawlings First-Team All American in 2011 after hitting .545 with 5 home runs and 41 RBI in 99 at-bats for Rio Rancho, and played in the 2010 AFLAC All-American Game.
It is unclear whether he will be able to stick behind the plate right now since he is considered slightly undersized for the position. However, he does have a strong arm and is very athletic, meaning he has a chance to stick at catcher and if not he could project well defensively at a corner infield or outfield position.
He has a strong commitment to the University of Texas and will likely require an above slot bonus to sign him away from college.