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MLB Draft Potential #1 Pick: Dansby Swanson

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If the Diamondbacks decided to go with a position player rather than a pitcher, Swanson represents the best college option. Let's take a closer look.

Steven Branscombe-USA TODAY Sports
  • DOB: 11 February 1994 (21)
  • 6' 1" / 190 lbs
  • SS - RHB
  • Vanderbilt

Profile: Swanson represents the best college bat in the draft having batted .348/.440/.617 in his junior year at Vandy. While not possessing the speed of 2014's Trea Turner, Swanson compares favorably to Turner in most other respects, with possibly even better bat skills. Swanson possess both the range and arm to stick at short stop at least as an average defender if not more.

Pros: As mentioned above, Swanson is the best college bat available. While Swanson does not profile as a potential superstar the way some scouts feel Rodgers could, Swanson does have all the necessary tools to be classified as an easy MLB starter. He is a safe pick and has the additional benefit of projecting to make the majors in the heart of the next competitive window.

Cons: Like Tate and Fulmer, Swanson has no reason to take a discount to sign, and, as a safe MLB regular bet, could command as much as either of them. Also, while Swanson is the best college bat in the draft, he is not the overall best position player in the draft (that being Brendan Rodgers who will be covered in part 2). Drafting Swanson is drafting security over upside, something that is not necessarily always a con.

The Take: If the Diamondbacks are going to take a position player with 1-1, this is the guy I would select. While the key to the MLB draft is to select the talent, and not to team need, Swanson matches up nicely for both. While he may or may not reach the same level of production as Rodgers eventually will, the fact of the matter is that the Diamondbacks are thin at the middle infield position. The timing of Swanson's development would have him being an impact player at the perfect time, rather than a potential impact player for a team that might or might not still have Paul Goldschmidt on it. Projected as a solid MLB player, Swanson is a safe choice with the opportunity to have a disproportionate positive impact on the game with his arrival.