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Pirates Prospect Watch: What Does Future Hold For Travis Swaggerty?



Pirates prospects, travis swaggerty

For the Pittsburgh Pirates, in what is other rebuilding year, the club have given big league opportunities to a number of prospects.

Looking over the course of the season, players such as Jack Suwinski, Cal Mitchell and Diego Castillo have all been given extended looks in their first go-around in the major leagues.

Oneil Cruz, Rodolfo Castro and Roansy Contreras all got a taste of life with the Pirates in 2021 and have become solid contributors this season.

One other player who made his MLB debut this season is 2018 first-round draft pick Travis Swaggerty.

Unlike the players listed before, Swaggerty was not given much opportunity with Pittsburgh this season. He appeared in just five games with the Bucs.

The 25-year-old picked up his first career hit in a game in Atlanta on June 9.

So, why have so many rookies had significant opportunities in the big leagues while Swaggerty is looking more and more like an afterthought?

It doesn’t seem like much to do with performance.

In 104 games with Triple-A Indianapolis, Swaggerty is hitting a decent yet unspectacular .258 with a 104 wRC+. He’s totaled nine home runs and 55 RBIs.

In addition, Swaggerty is certainly a capable defender in the outfield and has plus-speed as evident by his 18 steals on the year.

With a host of outfield options already on the 40-man roster who project to be part of the equation in 2023 in Suwinski, Mitchell, Bryan Reynolds, Ji-hwan Bae and others, Swaggerty’s future with the Pirates is murky.

From the outside looking in, it doesn’t seem general manager Ben Cherington and the revamped front office thinks as highly of the the Neal Huntington draft pick as some may expect. If they did, why was he such a small portion of this year’s plans?

The Pirates face some upcoming difficult decisions in regards to the 40-man roster. The team will need to create space for players in need of protection from the Rule 5 Draft, players returning from the 60-day injured list and any external additions this offseason.

With the season coming to a close, there will be clarity on Swagerty’s standing with the team before too long. For now, that standing appears very much in question.

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