Pittsburgh Pirates: Three Breakout Hitting Prospects for 2020

(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images)
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Pittsburgh Pirates
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Outfielder, Travis Swaggerty, 2020 Projection Double-A Altoona

In 2018, the Pittsburgh Pirates used the 10th overall pick to select college outfielder Travis Swaggerty.  Swaggerty was taken from the University of South Alabama and was the second college outfielder taken.  Early on his player comparison was that of Brett Gardner, a good all around player who would hit with some pop and steal some bags.

Swaggerty played the full 2019 season with High-A Bradenton, an aggressive push for his first full season, and it proved that challenging for the centerfielder.  Like Oliva, Swaggerty also had a rough first half of the season batting just .221 through his first 58 games.  He showed little plate discipline striking out 58 times and only getting on-base at a .318 clip.

However, he made the necessary adjustments in the second half of the season and started to show why the Bucs spent a top 10 pick on him.  Over the 63 games he played in the second half, Swaggerty hit a strong .306 with an on-base percentage of .375.  Furthermore, he raised his slugging from .329 to a much more respectable .430.  He also cut down on strikeouts, sitting down 58 times in 63 games.

All around Swaggerty improved through the season.  The slow start very well could have been Swaggerty just getting used to professional baseball and the expectation each day.  Also most college players have a bit of an adjustment period, switching to a wooden bat against higher level pitching.  Swaggerty’s second half in 2019 is more the expectation for him.  In total, he hit nine home runs and stole 23 bases, showing that he could be a potential 20-20 guy one day.  This year Swaggerty should build off his strong second half and breakout with the Curve.