Anybody still worried about Dansby Swanson?

Posted on Jun 18 2017 - 6:28pm by Chase Irle

Dansby Swanson has done nothing but accumulate hype since being the first overall selection out of Vanderbilt in the 2015 draft. The Braves acquired him in a trade with the Diamondbacks that sent Shelby Miller to Arizona. Swanson sped through the minor league levels, only playing in 127 games, before being promoted to the big leagues. In his brief stint with the Braves last season, he hit .300 and became one of the top prospects in the league heading into his official rookie season. With the hype, came some pressure, and early on Swanson was having trouble living up to the expectations.

Nobody expected Swanson to have a bat like Mike Trout, but a .156 average, and perhaps even more discouraging .200 OBP, was enough to worry even the most optimistic fans. The former Commodore showed off his leadership, patience and overall understanding of baseball during his years with Vandy that included a national championship. While May was not an eye-popping statistical month for the rookie, it was a step in the right direction, and one that showed he was beginning to feel more comfortable as the everyday shortstop for the Atlanta Braves.

Swanson only managed to hit .216 in May, but it was his improved patience at the plate and effectiveness in run scoring situations that pointed to the progression he was making. He walked seventeen times in the month, compared to just five walks he took in April. His RBI numbers saw a huge boost from just five in the month of April to 13 in May. It seemed Swanson may be turning a corner, and his red-hot start to June only enhanced the feeling that the kid is starting to blossom into something special.

In just 16 June ball games, he is hitting .327 while posting a .390 OBP, and with 11 RBIs already in the month, he is still making the most of is opportunities with runners in scoring position. Despite being one of the worst hitters on the team in terms of average, Swanson is is tied for the third most RBIs with Ender Inciarte.

If there was ever a reason to worry about the former number one overall pick, there certainly is not anymore. His .216 batting average is not indicative of the impact he has had on the team over the last month and a half. Something Braves fans better ought to get used to hearing: Dansby Swanson knows how to win games. He is clutch and does all the little things that sometimes go unnoticed in the grand scheme of things. This led Vanderbilt to a national championship and hopefully it will lead the Braves to their first World Series since 1995. His slow start means nothing, this kid is going to be a star for the Braves for many years to come.

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