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MLB Draft 2011 Prospects: Blake Swihart Could Jump In Front Of Rangers

One of the enticing possibilities for the Rangers at their Nos. 33 and 37 picks has been that Blake Swihart, the 17th best prospect in the draft according to both ESPN's Keith Law and Baseball America, could slide to them due to his signing bonus demands and interest in attending the University of Texas. Jim Callis of BA has even projected Swihart to the Rangers in a pair of his mock drafts. 

This morning, Law posted his morning-of-the-draft mock draft and, as he had previously predicted, projected Swihart to fall out of the first round. A few hours later, Callis projected Swihart to go to the Rays just one pick before the Rangers at No. 32. Tampa Bay can afford to be a bit risky with a couple of their choices because of the multitude of high picks they've accrued. Then, just before lunch, Law amended his draft to note that there is a possibility that Swihart could go at No. 7 to the Diamondbacks. It would be a surprising choice, since Arizona received the pick as compensation for its failure to sign the sixth pick in the 2010 draft, Barrett Loux, and would not receive additional compensation if they cannot sign this pick. 

Swihart is a switch-hitting catcher/third baseman who is more of an athlete than a pure defender. Scouts regard his hitting ability as above-average and his power potential as average. The Rangers figure to watch and see whether he, Brandon Nimmo or Josh Bell slides to their pick at 33. 

Photographs by jamesbrandon, jdtornow, phlezk, flygraphix, mcdlttx, tomasland, and literalbarrage used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.