Dansby Swanson is a cornerstone of the Braves’ future, yet even ascended to the majors last season. But, could he become a stud fantasy in 2017?
The Atlanta Braves have an illustrious history, but have fallen on tough times as of late as their rebuild effort is in full swing. They have methodically retooled their farm system, and the most notable product of their efforts is, Dansby Swanson.
The 2015 1st overall pick, was practically stolen from Arizona, is what may go down as one of the most lopsided deals ever. As the ghost of Shelly Miller is still floating around, Swanson’s ascension to the majors was a welcome surprise. Could he have used more seasoning in the minors, of course, but the major league experience he got was invaluable, and why fantasy owners should be intrigued.
Swanson had 470 at-bats in the minors last season, and 145 at the major league level. A minuscule gap compared to most prospects. He ended his major league stint with a, .302/3 HR/17 RBI/3 SB/.803 OPS line, not too bad. There is not a lot of meat to that stat line obviously, due his short stint, and the Braves lineup woes, but it should draw owners in.
Now Swanson will only be 23-years-old entering his first full-time season, and there are going to be some rookie woes. Everyone experiences them, it happens. But, Swanson’s approach at the plate is already refined to the point, where owners can rely on him being at worst, an on-base machine.
He drew 63 BB, while only striking out 118 times between every level last season. If he can maintain a near 10% BB rate, he can then utilize his speed on the base paths. He is a legit 30+ SB threat already.
Swanson is a solid defender so there is no questioning that, but scouts are torn on his power ceiling. He is still has plenty of time to grow into his, 6’1 and 190 lbs. frame, and it is safe to say that he is a 10+ HR threat currently. Will he even become a 20+ HR threat that some have thrown out there, that remains to be seen.
His batted ball data is brief, but encouraging as well. He posted a, 23% LD, a 47% Med, and 35% Hard contact rate. He squared plenty of balls up last season, and combine that with his speed, as you can see why a .389 BABIP is not too obscure.
It is probably unrealistic to expect another .300 AVG season, but his speed buoys his AVG floor to around ,270. The Braves will presumably also slot him at the top of the lineup as well, meaning he should post solid counting stats.
The Braves’ hope is that Swanson can make an impact in the batters box, and basically open up a restaurant named, Home, on the diamond so he can feast and show of his skills. He is a game wrecker in every sense, and he will start to show that next season.
With Swanson, Ender Inciarte, Nick Markakis, and Freddie Freeman forming the top of the order, there is plenty of reason to see why Braves’ fans should be optimistic.
Plus, they got tricky-Dickey and “Big Sexy”, I mean come on, what more do you need?
From a fantasy perspective, Swanson’s current ceiling is similar to what Trea Turner did in 2016, .342/13 HR/40 RBI/33 SB. If he can get in that range, you have an elite fantasy SS. The good thing though, is that his floor should hover around, .260/10 HR/35 RBI/20 SB, is still well worth a MI selection.
Believe in the hype when it comes to Dansby Swanson. He will prove to be a steady fantasy force already, and it seems as though he will be a fantasy stalwart for the years to come.