2-36. 0 RBI. 14k. These are Dansby Swanson’s recent numbers (or lack thereof) in his last 14 games that have Braves fans clamoring and wondering what he is doing still in the MLB and not back down in Gwinnett trying to get his game and confidence back. There are many reasons for why Swanson has taken a step back from his impressive .302 first year campaign where he looked like the face of the franchise for years to come and possibly the MLB with his famous flow and flashy defense.
For one, the Braves have done him a major disservice with how much pressure and expectations they placed on him from before he even made it out of AA. They plastered his face on every billboard and ad they could and billed him as the next coming of Chipper Jones and as the “Savior” of the franchise. They planned bobble head nights and marketed every penny they could out of his hair before he even stepped onto a MLB field. No player can withstand this much pressure and high expectations at such a young age. You would’ve thought the Braves would’ve learned by now with the Jeff Francoeur whirlwind and “The Natural.”
They also never gave him enough to prepare and develop the way he needed to. He never got to play in AAA and only spent ½ a season in AA, where in no way did he light up the scoreboard or stat line as he hit only .261. I believe it would’ve been much wiser for the Braves to have sent him up to Gwinnett instead of Atlanta last year at the end of the season. And if he had played respectably, by all means send him to the big leagues to start off the 2017 season but don’t rush him from A ball to the MLB in one year. This would’ve also given Dansby time to polish off the defensive side of his game as well, which has been a major letdown this year. I know the Braves were in a rush to give fans some excitement headed into SunTrust Park, but they might’ve cost his future by only looking at the business and marketing side instead of the development side of his game.
I’m by no means whatsoever calling Swanson a bust and I believe he still has lots of time to figure out what’s wrong with his game and work on it and improve. He is supposedly a very hard worker and a bright kid but he needs to go back to AAA and regain his confidence against lower competition and get his game back to the level it needs to be at. While it would be disappointing to everybody in the Front Office and the fans, if this move pays off, Swanson would be the future of the Atlanta Braves for years to come and hopefully bring some World Series Championships back to the ATL. Just look at Aaron Judge and how his and what it has down for the Yankees and their fan base. Judge struggled his first year and hit only .179 and so the Yankees sent him down to AAA where he regained confidence and has come back slugging a MLB leading 31 HR and is leading the Yankees back into playoff contention and rejuvenated the Yankee’s passionate fan base. The Braves need to follow the Yankees lead and send Dansby back to AAA to regain his confidence and ability and let him come back stronger than ever.