Sunday, March 5, 2017


The Atlanta Braves open up a new ballpark this season and throughout the winter, the front office did their best to try and make the team as competitive as possible without jeopardizing the future.  Hence the acquisitions of Jaime Garcia, Bartolo Colon, and R.A. Dickey for the rotation; which was preceded by the trade for Matt Kemp the previous July.  The future is also being embraced this season with the arrival of top shortstop prospect Dansby Swanson who will be the teams opening day starter and thus usher in what the Braves hope will be ten years of star-level play.  Now with the 2017 fantasy baseball season coming up quickly. let's delve in a bit more on Swanson to see what he could offer his owners.

At just 23-years-old, the former number 1 overall pick in the June 2015 MLB Draft has been universally considered a can't miss guy from the day he was selected.  The main piece that came Atlanta's way from Arizona in the laughable Shelby Miller trade, Swanson really just spent 1.5 years in the minors before getting a late call at the end of 2016.  In 84 games prior to his promotion last season, Swanson was not exactly lighting things up as he batted .261 with 8 home runs and 6 stolen bases at Double-A.  However there were already terrific signs underneath those numbers as Swanson put up a very good 18.8 K/9 rate and an even better 9.3 BB/9.  That shows you that Swanson sees the ball well and his plate approach means a string of .300 batting averages seasons are on the horizon.  As far as the power/speed game, Swanson is just now growing into his power and so while he may only hit 15 home runs in 2017, he profiles as a future 20-25 guy.  In terms of the steals, Swanson is a solid base runner but far from a burner.  He most likely will be a 15-20 steals guy but when combed with 15 home runs and a solid average, Swanson looks quite enticing in fantasy baseball indeed.

So in terms of 2017, Swanson is likely to hit the usual growing pains as most young players do,  It would be foolish to expect stardom right away and his draft price is already a bit higher then where I would like it.  With shortstop suddenly having a high number of terrific options after a bit 2016 at the position, there is no need to chase Swanson.  In keepers you can be more aggressive but I think 2018 is when things take off truly.

2017 PROJECTION:  .282 14 HR 67 RBI 83 R 14 SB  

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