Pittsburgh Pirates Boast Strong Farm System According to FanGraphs

5 of 7
Pittsburgh Pirates
(Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) /

#61 – Outfielder Travis Swaggerty

Travis Swaggerty is the 61st player on the BOARD’s top 100 and is just outside the top 10 prospects in the MLB for the center field position. Swaggerty was drafted with the 10th overall pick in the 2018 draft and certainly has high expectations in Pirates system. So far though, Swaggerty hasn’t quite lived up to those expectations.

Swaggerty’s rookie season was rough, as he slashed .239/.322/.383. This was a stark difference from the .500+ slugging numbers Swaggerty posted throughout his collegiate career. I’m not suggesting that Swaggerty’s .963 OPS was sustainable when he moved to Low-A, but the drop off was harsh.

Swaggerty spent 2019 with High-A Bradenton and from the outside, his numbers look equally unpromising. Over 524 plate appearances, Swaggerty’s line was .265/.347/.381. But, a closer look at 2019 reveals that Swaggerty posted two incredible months of play in July (.822 OPS) and August (.906 OPS). These two months clearly impressed the scouts for the BOARD and that is the only reason why Swaggerty is on the top 100 list.

Swaggerty is regarded as a plus defender and has the speed needed to be a threat when on base. If he can find offensive consistency in his 2020 season that will most likely start at Double-A Altoona,  Swaggerty will be well on his way to fulfilling the Pirates’ draft expectations. If all goes well, we will see Swaggerty in center field by mid-2021.