With pitchers and catchers reporting for spring training on February 14th, we will take a look at Pittsburgh Pirates prospect Travis Swaggerty. The Pirates picked Swaggerty 10th overall in the 2018 MLB Draft out of South Alabama. Prior to being drafted, he finished his junior season with a .296 batting average, 13 home runs and 36 RBI’s.
Swaggerty has played center field ever since in the Pirates organization. He has incredible speed both on the bases with 23 steals for the Bradenton Mauraders, and also has a .991 fielding percentage, meaning he can cover the gaps in the outfield admirably. In the 121 games played with the Mauraders, Swaggerty totaled a .265 batting average, hitting 9 home runs.
The one area in his game that needs significant improvement is his strikeout percentage. Over the 457 at-bats he faced, he struck out 116 times; roughly 25% of his appearances. That percentage is a 4% improvement from last year. Swaggerty has never been known for his power, so ideally, he needs to learn to hold back and focus on solid contact this year.
With rumors circling Starling Marte’s future with the Pirates, many are looking to the future roamer in center field. If Swaggerty can develop a consistent bat and maintain his base-stealing ways, he would fill that role perfectly for the next few years. His development this year will be a telling sign of how long his stay in the minors will be. In a perfect world, he develops at a steady rate and is promoted to the Triple-A club. However, it is more likely to see him in the Double-A system before the season is up.
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