Dansby Swanson began his Major League Baseball career last fall like he was shot out of a cannon. But nearly a year later, amid significant struggles at the plate and in the field, the Atlanta Braves have decided to send him to the minor leagues.
The Braves optioned Swanson to Triple-A Gwinnett following Wednesday’s loss to the Arizona Diamondbacks.
The #Braves have optioned Dansby Swanson & Aaron Blair to Gwinnett. Corresponding roster moves will be announced before the game on Friday.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) July 27, 2017
The former Vanderbilt Commodores star, College World Series champion, and No. 1 overall pick in the 2015 MLB draft had high expectations coming into his first full season as a rookie in Atlanta after playing in 38 games in 2016 and hitting .302 with 3 home runs and 17 RBI.
But except for one red-hot stretch in June, Swanson has had a 2017 to forget thus far. Through 95 games, he’s hitting .213 with six home runs, 35 RBI, and 84 strikeouts. He’s also made 14 errors at shortstop.
The emergence of Johan Camargo in the Braves infield led to Swanson having his playing time reduced over the last month, and the minor leagues increasingly became an option. According to David O’Brien of the AJC, the Braves expect Swanson to realize the demotion is meant to help him play regularly and gain more confidence at the plate.
There’s a bit of irony in the fact that the Braves sent Swanson down the same day as he went 2-4 at the plate and scored two runs against the Diamondbacks, one of his better days at the plate in a while.