The Atlanta Braves used to have one of the most consistent and promising farm systems in baseball, hands down. A once prominent system then slipped into mediocrity and become a barren system. Flip the page to 2016 the Braves have what many consider the very best farm system in baseball. New GM John Coppolella has made it a point to return the state of the farm system to the powerhouse that it once was. With this new class of highly touted prospects, one name gets a majority of that the hype. That name is Dansby Swanson.
Swanson is a short stopp out of Atlanta suburb, Marietta,GA. After attending Marietta High School, Swanson was drafted in the 38th round by the Colorado Rockies. He decided to forgo the draft and continue to further his talents at baseball powerhouse, Vanderbilt University. While at Vanderbilt, the young short stop led the Commodores to two national championship appearances, while winning the 2014 NCAA Baseball National Championship.
In 2015 , after clinching yet another apperance in the College World Series, Swanson was drafted 1st overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks. In July of 2015, Swanson was batting in a simulated game and was hit in the face with a fastball, sidelining him for a month. Once back to full health, Swanson posted a .289/.394/.482 line to go along with 1 homer and 11 RBI (stats according to milb.com). Albeit this happened in 22 games.
December 9th saw Swanson, pitching prospect Aaron Blair, and center fielder Ender Inciarte, traded from Arizona to Atlanta for pitcher, Shelby Miller and pitching prospect Gabe Speir. Swanson did recieve an invite to Spring Training, but was assigned to Advance A Carolina. In just 21 games, Swanson posted an impressive .333/441/.526 stat line. On April 30th, Swanson was promoted to Doulbe-A Mississippi. Through 41 games, Swanson’s production had dropped of as he is currently posting a .235/.321/.380 line to go along with 4 homers and 20 RBI. The young short stop has also boasts a very impressive .977 fielding percentage.
With his uncanny ability to work counts and get on base, Swanson has the potential to be a player that hits around the .280-.310 mark. Do not worry about his power, power comes later in the stages of development of baseball prospects. Though Swanson can hit for a high aveerage he also has the potential to hit 15-20 homers at best. Offensively his potential is to become a 15-15 player or 20-20 guy at best. Swanson also makes defense come natural as he makes the everyday play and the hard play look easy. With his offensive prowess measured with his defense, Swanson garnered Derek Jeter comparsions. Though his potential is compared to Jeter, realistically he compares to Oakland A’s short stop Jed Lowrie. Once called up to the majors expect Swanson to become an everyday player in the middle infield as he and other high touted prospects look to usher in a new era that can possibly rival that of the late 90s and early 2000s Braves, which would not be to shaby if you ask Braves fans.