Pittsburgh Pirates Prospects: Travis Swaggerty Heating Up in May


After a slow start to the season and a stint on the concussion injured list, Pittsburgh Pirates outfield prospect Travis Swaggerty is starting to heat up in May

There are plenty of players in sports who have their careers defined by injury. Unfortunately for Pittsburgh Pirates 2018 first-round pick Travis Swaggerty, this has been the case thus far in his professional career.

The former top-10 overall pick appeared primed to make his MLB debut last season. However, an early season shoulder injury ended his season after just 12 games played with the Triple-A Indianapolis Indians.

When spring training began in March, Swaggerty was still slowed by recovery from the work done on his shoulder. He then started the season slow at Triple-A before landing back on the injured list, this time due to a concussion.

Well, it now looks like Swaggerty may be finding his groove at the plate. Since the calendar has flipped to the month of May, Swaggerty has been hitting like a former top-10 overall pick. This is despite missing 9 days in May due to the concussion. If this continues it could lead to Swaggerty making his MLB debut with the Pirates this season.

Swaggerty has accumulated 29 plate appearances in 8 games played in May. He has hit for a .385/.448/.577 slash line to go with a wRC+ of 177 in these PAs. He has drawn 3 walks, hit a home run, and hit a triple.

Saturday night was his latest strong game. In a 12-2 loss, he started in center field for the Indianapolis Indians going 3-for-4 at the plate.

Seeing Swaggerty in center field was also a positive. Swaggerty’s defense has long been touted as his best tool. Even though Bryan Reynols has center field locked down in Pittsburgh, Swaggerty playing plus defense in left field may be even more valuable due ot PNC Park’s left field.

At some point this summer Ben Gamel will be traded. It would be a major surprise if this did not occur. When this happens, or potentially sooner, Swaggerty could now be in line to replace Gamel in left field.

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If Swaggerty continues to hit well at Triple-A he will almost assuredly make his MLB debut at some point this summer. This would create the opportunity for Swaggerty to finally put that first round pedigree on display in an effort to cement himself as an every day player for the Pittsburgh Pirates.