Canned foods are good to have…..in the event of a nuclear holocuast, zombie apocalypse, and/or global pandemic. Usually I would not include the “and” in the above sentence, but we live in strange times that not including it would classify this piece as fiction. Anyways, back to canned foods. You buy lots of them, stack them on the shelves, then pray that you never have to open them. I get their utility. What I don’t get, though, are the canned foods that have NO PRESERVATIVES written on the label. How? One of life’s great mysteries. Another enigma I stumbled upon the other day was that Dansby Swanson was being drafted as the 224th player in NFBC drafts from 5/1/2020 to 6/20/2020. <insert Nancy Kerrigan sobbing why?>
Last November, Grey wrote a sleeper article on Swanson. That Grey guy is a wise, young, fella. To show that I don’t just parrot Grey and ride his coattails….Who am I kidding? Have you ever ridden coattails? It’s a glorious experience, especially when you can grab Grey’s mustache and use them as handlebars. I digress. I wrote a Bear or Bull article on Swanson back in June of last year, so I’ve been bullish on his prospects for a while now.
So, why is his ADP so low?
Swanson’s final line was .251/.325/.422 with 17 homers, 77 runs, 65 RBI, and 10 stolen bases. Not bad, but nothing to grab Grey’s mustache and ride his coattails back home on. Here’s the thing, though. Swanson injured his heel on July 23rd, then reaggravated it in August. From the start of the season to July 23rd, he had a .265/.330/.468 slash with 17 homers, 64 runs, 57 RBI, and 7 stolen bases. Bust out the handy dandy abacus to do the math. Post injury, the batting average plummeted to .194, the strikeout rate rocketed up to 31.6%, while the ISO cratered to .051 from .203.
A 25/10 season was within the realm of possibilities. Last year, 18 players went at least 25/10. 18!!! Let’s bring the bar down to 20/10. How many now? 28. In all of baseball!
Swanson has a solid, all-around offensive profile. He’s projected to walk around 9% of the time, while striking out a manageable 22% of his at-bats. His chase rate has been above 30% only once in his four-year career, the overall contact rate is in the 85% range, and the swinging strike rate is around 11%. He ranked 63rd in MLB for number of barrels last season, was 80th in sprint speed (28.7 ft/s), and was 89th in average exit velocity (89.8 mph). The hard hit rate was 42.5% last season, a career high, and he’s hitting fewer ground balls with more fly balls as he’s matured as a hitter. He’s only 26 years old, so further improvements are within the range of outcomes, and he’s about to enter his physical prime. Let’s not forget that he was also the overall number one pick back in 2015, so it’s not like he’s some scrub walking off the street.
Batting seventh in the order dulls some of the shine, but the Braves as a team could have one of the more potent offenses in all of baseball. OddsShark has the Braves scoring 5.22 runs per game, which would be good for seventh in MLB. The opportunities should be plenty wherever Swanson bats in the lineup.
Shortstop is ridiculously deep this year, but Swanson at 224 overall and 24th shortstop off the board is too juicy of a price for what he brings to the table.