A long time ago, in a galaxy far away, homo sapiens would nuke aluminum trays of food (which I always imagined what prison food would look like) in a microwave. I was indoctrinated into this ritual when my mom brought home what they called “tv dinners” from Swanson. It looked like crap, to be honest. To make matters worse, I had to slice a hole in the film covering the meat, then poke holes for the potatoes, then cut out the section over the cranberries. Damn B! What’s up with all the fuss for something that looks like crap? The same can be said for Dansby Swanson of the Atlanta Braves. He was much hyped, yet kind of crappy since he joined the big club. So far in 2019, though, he’s the overall number 28 player on the Razzball Player Rater! Damn B! Dansby! Let’s see if he’s a bear or a bull.

The Colorado Rockies drafted Swanson in the 38th round of the 2012 MLB Draft out of high school, so the talent has been apparent for quite some time. Swanson did not join the professional ranks, though, but decided to spend the next three years playing for Vanderbilt University. He was named the College World Series Most Outstanding Player in 2014 and was a finalist for the Golden Spikes Award in 2015. Entering the 2015 MLB Draft, MLB.com had him ranked as the overall #2 player behind Brendan Rodgers. The Arizona Diamondbacks selected him first overall, but then traded him in a package for Shelby Miller the following season to the Atlanta Braves.

Getting to The Show didn’t take long. He played 21 games in High-A and 84 games in Double-A before playing 38 games with the Braves in 2016. He hit 3 home runs, stole 3 bases, and batted .302 with a 9.3% walk rate and 18.8% strikeout rate. Not bad. The following season, Swanson played 144 games with the Braves and accumulated 551 plate appearances. He only hit 6 home runs and stole 3 bases. The batting average plummeted to .232, while the walk and strikeout rates ticked up to 10.7% and 21.8% respectively. Last season, there was some improvement, as he clubbed 14 home runs and stole 10 bases in 533 plate appearances. The batting average remained at .238, but the walk rate came down to 8.3% while the strikeout rate inched up to 22.9%.

So far in 2019, Swanson has hit 13 home runs and stolen 6 bases in 251 plate appearances. The walk rate is 7.2%, while the strikeout rate is 18.7%. The batting average has spiked up to .270 and the ISO is at .239. Last year, that number was at .157. Is he getting lucky? The BABIP is ony at .281, so that doesn’t seem to be the case. Looking at the batted ball data, the hard hit rate has increased 9% to 44.6%. He’s hitting more line drives and fewer ground balls. The fly ball rate is the same as last year, but the HR/FB ratio has increased 9% to 19.1%. Things are looking good.

Let’s head over to the plate discipline numbers. The swinging strike rate has ticked down from 11.8% last season to 10.4% this year. The contact rates are status quo, but the big difference is that Swanson is chasing fewer pitches outside the strike zone (27.3% vs 36.5% last season). That doesn’t look like an outlier either, as the 2016 and 2017 numbers were 28.8% and 27.2%.

When at look at the splits, Swanson is crushing left-handed pitching this year. .981 OPS with a 13.8% strikeout rate. The .358 batting average seems to be due to some luck, as the BABIP is .372. If I compare the ISO numbers, it’s .226 against lefties and .243 against righties. Ok, so some regression is likely in the works against lefties. On the flip side, the BABIP against righties is ony .250, so things will probably even out both ways.

Finally, let’s visit our good friends over at Baseball Savant. Swanson has a barrel rate of 13%. He had never had a mark above 7%. The exit velocity is at a career-high 90.5 and the launch angle has increased to 14.4.

Swanson is now 25 years old and this will be his third full MLB season. He’s entering his physical prime, has experience, is more patient, and elevating the ball more. He’s also been batting second in 23 of the past 24 games. Steamer has him projected for 12 home runs, 44 runs, 44 RBI, and 7 stolen bases in 380 plate appearances. That would give him a 24/13 season with 76 runs and 89 RBI. Not bad, not bad at all. I poo pood Swanson tv dinners earlier, but I was a pookie for their chicken pot pies. I’m all about Swanson today.

VERDICT

 
  1. Slimcompoop says:
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    Thanks for the write-up SON. I can’t believe that Dansby is still only 61% owned in ESPN leagues. May I suggest Bryan Reynolds for next week’s analysis?

    • Son says:
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      It’s my pleasure. I enjoy writing these. I’m with you on the ownership. WAKE UP PEOPLE! Unfortunately, I’m out of town for the next week and a half, but if Reynolds is still balling when I return, then I’ll write him up for sure

  2. Fish Stick says:
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    Bull or Bear?
    Pablo Lopez
    Trevor Richards
    Y. Kikuchi
    F. Pena

    • Son says:
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      I’m good with all the MIA pitchers.

      Not a Kikuchi guy. Likewise for Pena

  3. Andy says:
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    Someone dropped a Hicks

    Would like to put in a waiver claim

    Suggestions to drop
    C Ramos
    1 Alonso
    2 villar
    3 rendon
    Ss mondesi
    O bellinger
    O f Reyes
    O d Santana
    U Carpenter
    U muncy
    B senzel
    B puig
    B Braun

    S paddack
    S Caleb
    R Jansen
    R Hicks
    P hand
    P Barnes
    P Marquez
    P Luke Jackson
    B woodruff
    B canning

    Thank u

    B

    • Son says:
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      Braun for me.

      Appreciate the B.

      • A says:
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        Haha thanks

  4. Edgar Gonzalez says:
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    Trading away Blackmon and L. Castillo for Scherzer. But the guy in trading also wants Max Fried. Would adding Fried be too much for Scherzer ??

    • Son says:
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      In a vacuum, probably, but everything is relative. What’s the league/team context?

      • Andy says:
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        H2h 12 player 10 catagory yahoo
        C Ramos
        1 Alonso
        2 villar
        3 rendon
        Ss mondesi
        O bellinger
        O f Reyes
        O d Santana
        U Carpenter
        U muncy
        B senzel
        B puig
        B Braun

        S paddack
        S Caleb
        R Jansen
        R Hicks
        P hand
        P Barnes
        P Marquez
        P Luke Jackson
        B woodruff
        B canning

  5. Edgar Gonzalez says:
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    Don’t really need outfielders since I have Mookie, Yelich and K. Davis plus have Luke Voit and Riley as my utility. 5×5 standard. I have Degom and Strasburg but this guy on my league has pitchers like Cole, Carrasco, Buehler, Marquez, Nola, Corbin, Clevinger, Bumgarner, and Canning. My staff consists of DeGrom, Strasburg, Castillo, Maeda, Fried, Giolito, Heaney, Darvish, Foltynewicz, and Glasnow whn he comes back.
    Its essentially Scherzer or Castillo and Fried

    • Son says:
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      Scherzer is amazing, no doubt, but I have serious concerns about Riley, so I’d probably prefer the Blackmon, Castillo, and Fried side. Plus, you could stream matchups. If you believe in Riley, then make the deal.

  6. Andy says:
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    Drop senzel for Didi?

    • Son says:
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      In a vacuum, no, but what’s your roster look like?

      • Andy says:
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        Oops wrong reply

        H2h 12 player 10 catagory yahoo
        C Ramos
        1 Alonso
        2 villar
        3 rendon
        Ss mondesi
        O bellinger
        O f Reyes
        O d Santana
        U Carpenter
        U muncy
        B senzel
        B puig
        B Braun

        S paddack
        S Caleb
        R Jansen
        R Hicks
        P hand
        P Barnes
        P Marquez
        P Luke Jackson
        B woodruff
        B canning

  7. Michael Gaughan says:
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    Hi,

    Player rater has these three shortstops in this order:

    Paul DeJong
    Dansby Swanson
    DiDi Gregorious

    I have to keep two of three – do you agree with the first two?

    Thanks!

    Mike.

    • Son says:
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      I do.

      You may kiss the….

  8. Andy says:
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    Ros
    Yandy or Hicks
    Thank you

    • Son says:
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      I’m a Hicks guy

Comments are closed.