Braves: Is it time for Dansby Swanson to start receiving MVP consideration?

Dansby Swanson free agent

The script on Dansby Swanson has been flipped completely on its head over the last two months. After the first couple weeks of the season, there was a large portion of the fan base that was ready to send him back to AAA or trade him for a washer machine and a variety pack of Big League Chew. Fast forward eight weeks, and not only are we talking about Swanson as a lock for the All-Star game, but he’s also inching towards the front of the MVP race.

Since April 22nd, you’d be hard-pressed to find a better player in all of baseball. Over that stretch, Swanson has mashed nine home runs and slashed .332/.396/.532 — good for a .932 OPS — while also being one of the best defensive players at the most important position on the diamond.

That stretch currently has Swanson sitting 12th in all of baseball in fWAR, and he’s fifth among NL candidates — behind only¬†Paul Goldschmidt, Manny Machado, Tommy Edman, and Mookie Betts. Now, the award is given for the entire body of work, so you can’t just toss out the few abysmal weeks Swanson had to start the season, but as of late, the Braves shortstop has been even better.

Over his last 22 games, Swanson is slashing .389/.444/.578 with a 1.022 OPS. That kind of production obviously isn’t sustainable the rest of the way, but I’m not so sure Swanson hasn’t figured something out for good. Over his entire career, he’s been an incredibly streaky player. When he’s hot, he’s a top-five player at his position, but when he’s cold, it looks like he belongs in AA.

There’s a chance another cold streak is on the horizon, but I think I speak for most people when I say this sure feels a lot different. Never has Swanson been this hot for this long. If he continues to hit around .300 with decent power while playing elite defense at shortstop and the Braves run away with the division, I don’t see why he wouldn’t be at the forefront of the NL MVP conversation.

Photo: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire



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