Atlanta Braves fans know that Dansby Swanson (Major League Baseball’s no. 8 prospect entering 2016 and no. 5 currently) is the bright young star who is going to lead their team back to respectability once their tumultuous rebuild comes to an end. Though 2016 at Turner Field has been nothing less than abominable, GM John Coppolella decided the time was right and on Wednesday, the club called up the 22-year-old from Double A Mississippi for his debut on the big show, and the kid from Kennesaw, GA did not disappoint.
Batting 8th for the Braves against the Twins at Turner Field on Wednesday, Swanson recorded his first career MLB hit in the 4th inning, a single to right off Kyle Gibson. Then, in the bottom of the 9th, he singled up the middle for his second hit, again off Gibson. Although the Braves lost 10-3, Swanson’s debut was one to remember, especially since it was for the team he loved growing up.
“It was about as close to a dream come true as possible,” the shortstop said to MLB.com’s Mark Bowman. “Playing for your hometown team and basically going out there and doing what you’ve worked your whole life for is pretty special.”
Swanson is batting .261 with 8 HR and 45 RBI for Mississippi in his first year in the Minors. After finishing behind Boston’s Andrew Benintendi for the 2015 Golden Spikes award. Swanson was selected first overall by the Arizona Diamondbacks in the 2015 MLB Draft (Benintendi went 7th). The D-Backs traded Swanson to the Braves for Shelby Miller this past offseason, the move has worked out horrifically for Arizona so far. In 2016, Miller is 2-9 with a 7.14 ERA and was demoted to Triple-A Reno on July 15. Not a lot of people thought Miller would be in the minors when Swanson got his promotion.
Their is hope for the future in Atlanta beyond Swanson as well. Baseball Prospectus ranks the Brave’s farm system as the second best in the MLB entering 2016, behind only the Dodgers. SS/2B Ozzie Albies (MLB no. 16) excelled in Double A and was promoted to Triple A Gwinnett this season at just 19, he could very well see time as early as next season.
You be the judge: could the Braves turn it around sooner rather than later? Or are fans at Turner Field getting their hopes up too fast?