4. Blake Swihart, 22 years old
Swihart is yet to make his Major League debut, but it’s easy to imagine him starting regularly behind the plate within a year. A first-round draft pick in 2011, he has developed into an excellent catching prospect both behind and at the plate and had his strongest Minor League season in 2014. Between Double-A Portland and Triple-A Pawtucket, the young backstop slashed .293/.341/.469 with 13 home runs and 8 stolen bases.
Swihart has a mix of defensive and offensive talent to go with surprising athleticism for a catcher, a skill set reminiscent of a young Buster Posey or Joe Mauer. And while it’s obviously unfair to attach those comparisons to a 22 year old prospect, Swihart has a chance to develop into one of the best catchers in all of baseball. He will start 2015 in Pawtucket but if he swings the bat well, then he could certainly be in Boston by the year’s end.