This year at Marlin Maniac we are bringing back the pre-draft prospect reports once again. The Fish hold the 13th pick for the second straight year. With the new ownership, the pick is one of the biggest question marks in the entire draft.
OF Travis Swaggerty
School: University of South Alabama
If the Miami Marlins are looking at college bats with the 13th overall pick, Travis Swaggerty will be highly considered. The only problem is, Swaggerty’s draft range is a big one.
Swagerty’s name has been mentioned at no. 3 with the Philadelphia Phillies, but other evaluators have him as a mid-first round talent. FanGraphs’ latest mock draft has Swaggerty going the highest at no. 6 to the Mets and CBS Sports has him the lowest at no. 12 to the Marlins.
Scouts have Swaggerty high on draft boards because of his solid overall game. He has at least average tools in all five categories and his ability to stick in centerfield bodes well for the young outfielder.
Over his college career, Swaggerty has walked more (133 BB) than he has struck out (130 SO). Between that and him cutting down on his strikeouts each season at South Alabama are signs of a very mature hitter.
2017 has been his best season to date, he slashed .356/.484/.571 with 11 home runs. This year, Swaggerty added a bit more loft in his swing which resulted in more home runs (13), but he also saw his average drop over 50 points to .295.
While this is a sign of concern for some scouts, as a whole he actually raised his draft stock with his performance this year.
Miami Marlins Scouting Report
Swaggerty shows a natural ability to barrel balls up at the plate and use the middle of the field. He profiles a leadoff hitter, although he does have some swing and miss to his game. He struggles to hit good breaking pitches at times which is a part of his game that he will need to improve upon.
One of Swaggerty’s best parts of his game is his ability to get on base. His good eye at the plate and speed out of the box have allowed him to have an OBP over .540 each of the last two years.
Power is Swaggerty’s last tool to develop, and it still has the most room to grow. In three years, he went from hitting four home runs as a freshman to 13 as a junior.
At times during his senior year, Swaggerty let his search for more power take away from his hit tool. Nonetheless, some evaluators put a 20-25 home run cap on his power in the big leagues.
Swaggerty’s highest rated tool is his 60-grade speed. He has collected 48 stolen bases in his college career and has shown the ability to pick up bunt hits from time to time.
Swaggerty has an above average arm that is playable at all three outfield positions.
Swaggerty’s above average glove is a big plus for organizations that are looking to take him in the early first round. The fact that he will be able to stick in centerfield does raise his overall value.
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Swaggerty is a very solid player across the board. Some scouts have compared his hit tool to Andrew Benintendi and while that might be too high of praise, he does have a strong bat and he has the ability to rise fast through the minors.
Should the Miami Marlins Take Him?
If Swaggerty is still on the board by the time the Miami Marlins pick, there is no doubt in my mind that the Marlins should select the talented outfielder. He has the chance to fly through the minors and still has a lot of room to still grow.
Just as the Miami Marlins are the biggest question mark from the team side, Swaggerty might be the biggest question mark out of all the players. It would not be surprising if he went to the Phillies at no. 3 or fell all the way to the middle of the first round. Either way, Swaggerty has the chance to be a very special player for years to come.
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