Dansby Swanson wrote at The Players’ Tribune discussing what the former No. 1 draft pick feels about the trade sending him to his hometown Atlanta Braves.
The Players’ Tribune came into being after Derek Jeter retired from playing for the New York Yankees, as a way for professional athletes to take on the role of writers to better connect with their fans. While most contributors are stars in the games we love, one player that hasn’t made it to the Big Leagues yet got to discuss the blockbuster trade he was in the middle of in a few months ago.
That player is the Atlanta Braves shortstop of the future Dansby Swanson, the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft, who starred collegiately at Vanderbilt, and grew up in Braves Country in nearby Marietta. Swanson’s piece was appropriately title “Homecoming“.
Swanson discusses his initial reactions about what went down in the blockbuster trade that sent him to his hometown Atlanta Braves from the Arizona Diamondbacks for All-Star pitcher Shelby Miller.
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Dansby Swanson said, “I knew the ‘news’ could really only mean two things: either the Diamondbacks landed a big-time pitcher…or I was getting traded. After a flurry of calls with my agent, it turned out that both things were true. The D-Backs were getting Shelby Miller. And I was going to the Braves.”
Swanson went to clear his head by shooting hoops at Memorial Gym on the Vanderbilt Campus, as he was in Nashville then, and a Young Jeezy song came on his iPod, which Swanson “felt like a sign”, as Jeezy is also an Atlanta native.
Dansby Swanson realizes that it is a big deal to stand as the primary piece in a blockbuster trade involving a front line starting pitcher. He also points out that being a former No. 1 overall pick isn’t a guarantee for success at the Major League level, citing that Ken Griffey, Jr. is the first No. 1 pick to make it to Cooperstown.
Swanson was probably citing facts, but probably forgot to mention a player he probably grew up idolizing as a Marietta native in 1990’s No. 1 overall selection in Chipper Jones, who will likely garner a first-ballot selection in Baseball Hall of Fame Class of 2018.
One other interesting point that Dansby Swanson mentioned in his article is that he can’t wait to take his first Big League at-bat at Turner Field. That would mean that the former Golden Spikes award winner of the Vanderbilt Commodores would have to make it to the Big Leagues by September of this year, as this is the last season the Atlanta Braves will play at Turner Field before the club moves into brand-new SunTrust Park in 2017.
Given that Dansby Swanson was a collegiate standout, his time in the Minor Leagues will likely be short, as is usually the case with more three-year college players. With the 2016 Atlanta Braves likely out of contention by then, wouldn’t it stand as a great story in September that the No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 MLB Amateur Draft and Marietta native Dansby Swanson would get to make his big league debut before the final game occurs at Turner Field?
Swanson brings with him a sense of hope to an organization that has fallen on hard times the last two years. Atlanta had not had back-to-back losing seasons since before Bobby Cox went into the dugout halfway through the 1990 MLB season. If the Atlanta Braves are going to contend in the first few years of the SunTrust Park era, shortstop Dansby Swanson will have to play a crucial role in helping the Braves get there. It seems that all of metro Atlanta is cheering for him, as Dansby Swanson is one of our own. Go Braves!