In this season of woe, Braves fans have something extra to cheer for tonight at Turner Field.
The team’s top prospect, shortstop Dansby Swanson has been called up from Double-A Mississippi and will be in the lineup tonight when the Braves host the Twins in the finale of the two game series.
The trade of shortstop Eric Aybar to Detroit for infielder Mike Aviles and catching prospect Kade Scivicque opened a roster spot and the Braves were quick to give the former Vanderbilt star the call.
Swanson, if you’ll recall, was part of the off-season trade with the Diamondbacks that sent Shelby Miller to Arizona. It was a great haul for Atlanta, as along with Swanson they acquired outfielder Ender Inciarte and prospect Aaron Blair.
Swanson opened his Braves career this season in Advanced-A Carolina. In 21 games for the Mudcats, he batted .333 (26-78, 14 R, 12 2B, 10 HR, 41 RBIs). That included a .441 OBP and a .967 OPS. On April 30, he was promoted to Double-A Mississippi where in 84 games he batted .261 (87-333, 13 2B, 5 3B, 8 HR, 45 RBIs) with a .342 OBP and .745 OPS.
Swanson, a metro Atlanta native, helped Vanderbilt win the 2014 College World Series and was named the Most Outstanding Player of that series. He was the number one overall selection by the Diamondbacks in the 2015 draft.
Can Swanson live up to the hype? John Hart, the Braves president of Baseball Operations, told Mark Bowman of mlb.com: “There’s a lot we like about Dansby. We don’t expect him to come up here and be the savior, but we feel like this is an opportunity for us to take a good look and get him some experience up here in the big leagues.”
Second baseman Ozzie Albies will stay in Double-A, and the much-anticipated double-play duo will have wait to play together in the National League, but for now, let’s hope two things happen in the remainder of the season. One, that Braves fans are patient and two, that Swanson can exceed all expectations.