After two and a half years of low-down rotten luck for his baseball career, it appears that Travis Swaggerty is starting to turn things around.
Swaggerty got off to an ice cold start to 2022. Through May 14, Swaggerty was hitting just .174 with 31 strikeouts in 69 at bats. In the last five games last week, Swaggerty went 9-for-16 with as many extra-base hits as strikeouts. It also matched as many extra-base hits as he had in the first month and a half.
Swaggerty missed most of 2021 after the COVID-canceled 2020. He admitted to me earlier in the season that there was not much video to watch in his offseason preparation. Swaggerty also said that his focus during the offseason was to keep things intact and working together.
“I feel like my path through the zone is a little more efficient,” Swaggerty said. “My separations is good and my move feels really good. It is just about getting at bats and getting reps.”
With his swing featuring a somewhat high leg kick, timing his huge for Swaggerty’s swing. It is also something that is only achieved by facing pitching everyday and gaining repetitions.
Swaggerty seemed to be hitting this stride on May 3, as he went 2-for-3 at the plate and also made a great throw to nail a runner at third base. Unfortunately he also was hit by Oneil Cruz, as the two collided coming together on a fly ball in shallow center in the seventh inning. This caused Swaggerty to leave the game an inning later and to miss over a week with a concussion.
With the short outage, Swaggerty did not take a rehab assignment. The current hot stretch started in his third game after returning. Simply, it appears Swaggerty has figured it out and worked off the rust. This is something that Indianapolis manager Miguel Perez has seen coming.
“Don’t forget that [Swaggerty] hasn’t played in a couple of years,” Perez said. “He is a work in progress. That is a tough transition into playing every day. He has been in that position. Now you can see that he is starting to get comfortable at the plate and in the outfield. I’m happy where he is heading.”
With reps, Swaggerty just looks more comfortable and confident. He is attacking the ball. In his four at bats on Sunday, Swaggerty saw just 10 pitches. This resulted in a pair of hits. On Saturday, Swaggerty got three hits, seeing just nine pitches. He is locked in and not missing his pitch when it comes.
While there was certainly some concern with his high strikeout rate early in the season, that is not indicative of the player that Swaggerty has been in the past. He’s getting his first real taste of the upper levels, and might be finally adjusting.