Dansby Swanson was well on his way to exceeding my modest expectations for 2019 before he was waylaid in July with a heel injury. The 25 year old went into the All-Star break with 17 homers and a .270/.330/.493 batting line in 380 plate appearances, but in his 142 post All-Star break PA’s he managed only a .204/.315/.254 line, with nary a single homer.
All told, Swanson settled in about where expected, at .251/.315/.422 and 10 stolen bases to go along with the 17 homers. Dansby has shown offensive improvement in each of his full major league seasons, as a young man should. If the heel is truly the assignable cause for the second half slump, then the 2019 first half gives real reason to be optimistic that Dansby will be an offensive force among shortstops as he enters his prime.
Unlike his offensive stats, Dansby’s games played has been trending in the wrong direction. In addition to his heel injury, Swanson also missed a few games with a quad injury, limiting him to 127 games this season. Wrist injuries in 2018 were largely responsible for limiting him to 136 games that season, down from his career high of 144 games in 2017.
Dansby’s defensive stats were unremarkable. He was pretty good in 2018; perhaps the heel slowed him down in the field as well.
Dansby’s most similar batters are starting to include some pretty solid guys, including Another Alex Gonzalez, and Alex Gonzalez. (It will never not be funny that Alex Gonzalez’s 3rd most similar hitter of all time was Alex Gonzalez.)