The Sports Center

Braves to promote top prospect Dansby Swanson

The first-overall selection from the 2015 MLB Draft could make his MLB debut on Wednesday

The Atlanta Braves have announced that they plan to select the contract of Dansby Swanson on Wednesday per a release from the team’s Twitter. He will be slated to make his debut against the Twins who are scheduled to send Kyle Gibson to the mound.

The 22-year old shortstop is just 14 months from being selected first overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2015 MLB Draft. While his progression through the minors has been excellent, Swanson isn’t the first player from the 2015 Draft to make it to the big leagues. Second-overall pick Alex Bregman has made his debut for the Astros as well as outfielder Andrew Benintendi of the Red Sox and pitcher Carson Fulmer of the White Sox.

Swanson was famously involved in a trade this offseason that may go down as one of the most lopsided deals in the history of the sport. In hopes of contending, the Diamondbacks packaged Swanson with Ender Inciarte and Aaron Blair in exchange for Shelby Miller. Miller is currently pitching with the Reno Aces—the Triple-A affiliate of the Diamondbacks. Even without such a significant fall from grace for Miller, it still appeared early that this trade was won by the Braves. The fact that Miller has become much worse than he was expected to be only cements that perspective.

Swanson has split time this season at the High-A and Double-A levels, and exceeded at both. With 377 plate appearances this season with the Double-A Mississippi Braves, Swanson has slashed .261/.342/.402. While his walk rate is low at 9.3 percent and his strikeout rate is high at 18.3 percent, Swanson managed an ISO of .141 and is generating offense 16 percent better than the league average by wRC+. With his call-up to the majors, his focus on a team out of the postseason race could primarily shift toward plate discipline. At lower levels, Swanson boasted a keen eye that reflected in his better walk and strikeout rates.

There was some conjecture about which shortstop the Braves possess would make it to the majors first. The Braves’ system—among the best in the league—not only boasts Swanson by Ozzie Albies as well. Albies is just 19 years old though and having some struggles at Triple-A. Despite fewer reps, Swanson appears to be more major league ready and has earned his call up from the Braves.

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