Braves: Stop calling Dansby Swanson a one-hit wonder

Dansby Swanson free agent

The other day, I went to social media to ask fans what they would be willing to pay Dansby Swanson in unrestricted free agency.

I’m on the record saying he will fetch close to $200 million on the open market, if not more than that, and many people agreed. But… then there were a lot of people who responded with comments like this.

For the life of me, I can’t comprehend why people think Swanson has only been good for just this season. First off, Swanson hasn’t just been “above average” this year. He’s been arguably the best shortstop in baseball, ranking 10th in the entire league in FanGraphs WAR, but let’s take this all the way back to 2019 for those people who seem to think Swanson is a one-hit wonder.

Swanson began the 2019 campaign on fire, hitting 17 homers with a .798 OPS in his first 100 games before he was forced to miss a month with a heel injury. He did not come back the same player, but he was producing at an elite level before the injury. Fast forward to 2020, he led all players at his position in bWAR, recording an .809 OPS during the COVID-shortened campaign. Had there been All-Stars that year, Swanson sure would have recognized.

Onto last season, which started sluggishly for the Braves shortstop, he barely hit over the Mendoza Line through the first seven weeks of the season. But in his last 118 games, he dropped 22 bombs with an .812 OPS. He finished the season with 27 homers. You know who’s never had 27 homers in a season? Carlos Correa, which brings us back to this season. You know who has been more valuable than Correa and Trea Turner this year, who are also set to test unrestricted free agency? Dansby Swanson.

When talking about Swanson, people tend to forget about his positional valuable. There aren’t many shortstops hitting .300, flirting with 30 home runs, and playing elite defense. The few that do are earning upwards of $300 million. Swanson has been a steady presence, both offensively and defensively, at arguably the most important position on the diamond. Not to mention what he brings to the clubhouse in terms of leadership. He’s going to get paid handsomely this offseason, and I think the Braves would be making a mistake if they didn’t do everything in their power to retain him.

Photo: Jeff Robinson/Icon Sportswire

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