No Fantasy Baseball owner wants to miss out on the next Mike Trout, Carlos Correa or Clayton Kershaw. Therefore, when top prospects come up to the big leagues, they tend to overvalued compared to the older less exciting players. For example, let’s take a brief look at last year’s call ups. Gary Sanchez set the world alight when he came up by having one of the greatest call up season’s we have ever experienced. While Sanchez set the world alight, there were others call ups such Cody Reed (7.36 ERA) or Jose De Leon (6.35 ERA) who disappointed. While Dansby Swanson excelled in his first 145 plate appearances, I believe he is being overvalued redraft leagues* in 2017.
So far in 2017, Swanson has not looked slightly lost at the plate. Slashing just .179/.207/.321 (AVG/OBP/SLG) in 29 plate appearances. While only scoring his single run and RBI on his only home run of the season. While the sample size is small, it nevertheless still illuminates some of the concerns I had regarding Swanson coming into the year. For one, his .302 AVG was elevated by an unsustainable BABIP* of.383 in 2016. He was an only a .261 AVG hitter in his 377 plate appearances in Double-A and I expect him to keep an average in the .260-.270 this season.
Secondly, I can’t help but be worried about his rising K% in his major league career. While in High-A and Low-A ball, Swanson posted a K% at 14% but again saw it rise to 18.8% when he jumped up to Double-A. Swanson skipped Triple-A entirely and went right to the Braves and once more saw his K% jump up to 23.4% in 2016. So far in 2017 it has remained consistent with last year and now sits 24.1%.
Lastly, the projections this season are not kind to Swanson. Both Steamer and Depth Charts project him for 13HR/9SB with a .255-.260 average. ZiPS is even less kind to Swanson projecting 12HR/7SB at a .253 AVG. While you need to take the projections with a grain of salt due to Swanson’s only possessing 743 AB’s in his minor/major league career. He was being drafted directly in front of guys such as Marcus Semien and Brandon Crawford according to NFBC ADP, both of who I would willingly own over Swanson in 2017.
I wanted to make a note I am strictly speaking about 2017 in this article. Swanson very easily could grow into a better fantasy commodity. But, at the moment he is more valuable to the Braves due his defense than he is to your fantasy team. There is still a possibility that Swanson’s does not care for my analysis and will breakout and put together a terrific fantasy season, rookies can be extremely volatile.
*BABIP- Batting Average on Balls In Play (League Average .300)
*Strictly Re-draft league, his value will change in dynasty and keeper leagues.