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Pirates Prospects Daily: Travis Swaggerty Making A Run For A Roster Spot

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With Spring Training now in full swing, we are started to catch on to some patterns that, while can certainly change, may speak a little to how the Pirates are evaluating things so far.

One player that is vying for a spot is 2018 first round pick Travis Swaggerty. He hasn’t started a game yet, but has come on as a substitution twice so far this spring.

Despite the limited playing time he has made his presence known. He made a couple of strong defensive plays in center field in his first game, as well as picking up a base hit. 

After replacing Cal Mitchell in right field during Wednesday’s game (taking Endy Rodriguez’s spot in the lineup), Swaggerty came up even bigger, launching a three-run home run that tied things up late.

The hit itself is one of the more impressive you are going to see, especially from a Statcast point of view. It traveled 105.5 mph off the bat and at a 27° launch angle, giving it a 1.000 expected batting average (xBA), while carries 433 feet to near dead center.

That gave him two batted ball events of over 100 mph on the day, along with his 102.8 lineout earlier in the game. 

With Bryan Reynolds seeing time in left field during his spring debut, that frees up a spot in center field, with Swaggerty being the most natural option — although it’s been Jack Suwinski that looks like he’s been given first crack at it.

The Pirates play a pair of games on Thursday, giving plenty of opportunities to see as many players as possible in action.

Johan Oviedo Hit Hard In Debut

If you are going to get hit hard at any point in the year, now is the time to do it. Johan Oviedo allowed seven of his nine batted balls to travel 95 mph or higher (six were 100+), as he really struggled in his opening frame.

The righty is working on a new two-seam fastball, which could help him last a little longer as a starter, and it looked like a big reason why he was hit so hard.

Pirates Prospects Daily

By Tim Williams

Spring Training Recap: Tigers 8, Pirates 7

Pirates DVR: Henry Davis RBI, Rich Hill Faces Oneil Cruz and Rodolfo Castro

**MLB Pipeline released their top 30 Pirates prospects.

**Missed yesterday? Anthony looked at how Bubba Chandler will focus on pitching in 2023.

Song of the Day

TODAY’S LINEUPS:

Doubleheader today, with the Pirates visiting the Toronto Blue Jays and the Pirates at home against the New York Yankees. Here are the lineups:

 

Anthony Murphy
Anthony Murphy
Anthony began writing over 10 years ago, starting a personal blog to cover the 2011 MLB draft, where the Pirates selected first overall. After bouncing around many websites covering hockey, he refocused his attention to baseball, his first love when it comes to sports. He eventually found himself here at Pirates Prospects in late 2021, where he covers the team’s four full season minor league affiliates.

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