This is the one in a series of stories looking at members of the Pittsburgh Pirates 40-man roster.
For the Pittsburgh Pirates, the 2022 season saw a handful of prospects make their major league debuts.
A number of those debuts came in the outfield as players such as Jack Suwisnki, Cal Mitchell and Ji-hwan Bae all became big leaguers for the first time.
Another outfielder who made his big league debut last season was Travis Swaggerty, who was selected by the Pirates with the 10th overall pick in the 2018 MLB draft.
While guys like Suwisnki and Mitchell received extended looks in their first taste in the majors, it was only a brief cup of coffee for Swaggerty in Pittsburgh.
The 25-year-old only appeared in five games, registering nine at-bats. He picked up his first career big league hit against the Atlanta Braves on June 9.
For a team that used their most ever players in franchise history last year, it was a bit surprising — and perhaps telling — that Swaggerty was not one of the players who carved out a significant role.
In 107 games with Triple-A Indianapolis, Swaggerty .254 with a .747 OPS, eight triples, nine home runs, 55 RBIs and 20 steals. His eight triples set a new career-high while his nine long balls matched his career-best.
While the numbers aren’t eye-catching, he was a couple ticks above league-average offensively (102 wRC+) and featured above-average speed and defense in the outfield.
While most of his experience has come in center field, he has experience and is capable in all three outfield spots.
Still, the Pirates decided to bypass the former first rounder at multiple points throughout the season in favor of other players.
One big question is at the forefront heading into spring training next month.
Can Travis Swaggerty carve out a role with the club in 2023 or will the organization again look to other players to help the team?
The Pirates outfield mix is already fairly crowded with players such as Suwinski, Mitchell, Bae, Bryan Reynolds, Miguel Andújar and Connor Joe all expected to get outfield reps with the club, making it that much more difficult for Swaggerty to get his chance.
2023 will be a big year for Swaggerty and he will need to prove that he deserves a real opportunity with Pittsburgh.
If that opportunity doesn’t present itself, Swaggerty’s status with the Pirates could be in jeopardy.