School: Vanderbilt; Class: Junior
Position: SS; B/T: R/R
Height: 6-1; Weight: 190
Previously Drafted: Colorado Rockies, 38th round, 2012
Background: Two years removed from an injury-plagued freshman season, Swanson, who would initially lose six weeks to a broken bone in his foot, would appear in just 11 games after his return as a torn labrum would force him to miss the remainder of 2013.
Back to full health – and perhaps carrying a rabbit’s foot in his back pocket – Swanson had a coming out party of sorts during his sophomore campaign. He slugged .333/.411/.475 with 27 doubles, a pair of triples, and three homeruns while swiping 22 bags in just 27 attempts. He also managed to post a 37-to-49 strikeout-to-walk ratio.
Swanson also turned in an impressive summer for USA’s National Collegiate Team, hitting a solid .288/.342/.364, though he managed just five extra-base knocks, all doubles.
This season Swanson’s upped the ante significantly for the reigning national champs. Through his first 48 games, the former Colorado Rockies late round pick has already set career highs in several categories – triples (5), homeruns (7), average (.354), on base percentage (.450), slugging percentage (.608), and isolated power (.254) – and is on pace to set several other bests, namely his strong leap in plate discipline.
Projection: Arguably the top collegiate bat in the entire class, Swanson offers up a well-rounded offensive approach – solid plate discipline, hit tool, double-digit homerun power, and speed. He profiles as solid top-of-the-order-type hitter who could border on an All-Star caliber season if everything breaks just the right way, though he’ll likely slide into a solid league-average status.
Ceiling: 3.5-win player
Floor: 1.5-win player
Grade: First Round, Top 15 selections