Atlanta Braves shortstop Dansby Swanson made his much-anticipated debut last week. After a little more than a week in the majors, how has he stacked up against other top prospects to debut this year?
When the Atlanta Braves finally called up top prospect Dansby Swanson on August 17, Braves nation rejoiced. After being stolen from the Arizona Diamondbacks last winter, the future face of the franchise was set to arrive.
After slightly more than a week in the majors, the former first overall pick has acquitted himself fairly well. Swanson has batted .276 in his first eight games in an Atlanta Braves uniform. He has also added in a double, a steal, and an RBI.
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But Swanson is far from the first highly touted prospect to debut in the majors this year. Several other young stars have made their debuts, to varying degrees of success. So how does Swanson‘s first eight games match up with his peers?
Swanson vs. Alex Bregman
Bregman made it to the show just a month before Swanson, making his Astros debut on July 25 against the Yankees. He was the first player picked after Swanson in the 2015 draft, so pundits will always look to compare how these two stack up against one another.
To say Bregman got off to a slow start would be an understatement. He was hitless in his first 18 at-bats before finally breaking through in his sixth game. That would be the only hit Bregman collected in his first eight games in the big leagues. Compare that to Swanson, who collected two hits in his very first game in Atlanta.
In addition to not getting hits, Bregman was also failing to make contact. He fanned 10 times in his first eight games compared to Swanson‘s seven.
Swanson vs. Aaron Judge
Judge debuted in the Big Apple in a big way back on August 13. In his first career at-bat, he launched a massive homer to straightaway center at Yankee Stadium. The next day, he did it again.
Judge has cooled down a little since then. After going 3 for 7 with a pair of bombs in his first two games, he went 5 for 23 with just one double in the next six. All five of those hits came in just three games.
While Judge has provided more offensive power than Swanson has to this point, he has also been more inconsistent. On the other hand, the Atlanta Braves phenom has had either one or two hits in all but three of his first eight games. So while their averages are about the same, Swanson has been more consistent at getting on base than Judge has so far.
Swanson vs. Andrew Benintendi
Benintendi made arguably the most impressive debut of any positional prospect this year, his former SEC foe Swanson included. In his first eight games, he hit at a blazing .391 clip. He also knocked in four runs while only striking out four times.
While Swanson has been fairly steady at the dish, he has been nowhere near as hot as Benintendi was when he was first called up. Swanson‘s average is more than 100 points lower, and he has struck out seven times compared to Benintendi’s four. The young Boston outfielder has since hit the disabled list, but he was having an outstanding first month up to that point.
Swanson‘s brief time in the majors has been impressive so far. He hasn’t been setting the world on fire like Benintendi did in his first eight games. But he also hasn’t struggled as mightily as Bregman, and he has been more consistent than Judge. Overall, fans of the Atlanta Braves should be very excited with what they see from their young shortstop. He’s going to be a cornerstone of the franchise for many years to come.