Travis Swaggerty’s Professional Career Off To A Roaring Start

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /
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The Pittsburgh Pirates’ 2018 first round draft selection’s professional career could not be off to a much better start

In last month’s Major League Baseball Amateur Draft the Pittsburgh Pirates held the 10th overall draft pick. With this pick the Bucs selected University of South Alabama outfielder Travis Swaggerty.

The Pirates and Swaggerty quickly agreed to terms, allowing the left-handed hitting outfielder to quickly start his professional career. After agreeing to a $4.4 million signing bonus with the Bucs, Swaggerty was assigned to the short-season West Virginia Black Bears of the New York-Penn League. Since getting to West Virginia Swaggerty has done nothing but hit.

Last night Swaggerty played his 12th game for the Black Bears. After going 2-for-4 with a walk, a double, and a home run it is safe to say that Swaggerty’s professional career is off to a roaring start.

Swaggerty now owns 53 professional plate appearances. He is 15-for-48 with five walks, two home runs, four doubles, and a triple. His offensive output has been paired with him playing a strong centerfield for the Black Bears.

Seeing a hot start from Swaggerty should not be a surprise. A strong argument can be made that Swaggerty was the best college hitter not named Nick Madrigal in the 2018 draft. Many draft projections had him being selected in the top five-to-eight picks.

His hot start also comes on the heels of capping off his junior campaign by earning Sun Belt Conference Player of the Year this past spring when he slugged 13 home runs to go with a .455 on-base percentage in 57 games for the Jaguars. Swaggerty also earned First Team All-Sun Belt honors for a second consecutive season after his performance as a junior.

Next: Examining Pirate Base Running

Swaggerty is 20-years-old, an advanced college hitter, has quickly developing power, and great command of the strike zone. These are all traits of a hitter that can ascend through a minor league system in a hurry. If his hot start for West Virginia is any sign of what is to come, then Swaggerty will quickly climb up the minor league ladder for the Pirates.