ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – When the coronavirus shut down spring training, catcher and utility player Blake Swihart was doing well.
The former Cleveland High star is trying to make the big club with the third organization of his professional baseball career. After being granted free agency by the Arizona Diamondbacks in December, Swihart signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers that included an invite to spring training.
He was making the most of it. “You know, this year I’m in a little bit of a different situation,” said Swihart. “I’m playing well in the spring. I’m hitting well, playing good defense so I just got to keep going out there and making sure I stay ready. Whatever I can do to help this team win, that’s what I want to do.”
Swihart’s baseball journey has been one of ups and downs. He was selected with the 26th overall pick in the first round of the 2011 draft by the Boston Red Sox. Swihart made the big club in 2015, but never fully established himself, playing a variety of positions from catcher to the outfield. Boston traded Swihart to Arizona in 2019. He only caught one game for the club and saw very limited play.
Swihart doesn’t have any ill feelings toward any of his previous clubs and feels really good about the Rangers organization. “It’s awesome, so far so good,” said Swihart. “You know, just playing the last couple of years against them. You kind of knew everybody, but you never officially met, so it’s kind of like a first day of school going around meeting everybody. It’s a very professional group.” Swihart said his goal is what it always is, to make the team.