In today’s post, we will look at starting pitcher Jordan Swagerty. Swagerty was drafted by, but didn’t sign with, the Colorado Rockies in the 44th round of the 2008 draft. He instead opted to attend Arizona State University. Thanks to his success in college, Swagerty increased his stock value and was drafted in the second round by 2010.
Swagerty was sent to rookie league to get some time in before the end of 2010. He only appeared in five innings in relief appearances that stretched across four games. The Cardinals moved him to Quad Cities to start 2011, where he worked exclusively as a starter. Swagerty showed decent strikeout potential in five starts, sitting down batters a rate of 9 k/9 and an ERA of 1.50. The team promoted him to high A, and the results were just as good. He got seven starts, but was also used out of bullpen. Through 54.1 innings, his K/9 stayed pretty steady at 8.61 and his ERA ended up 1.82. The Cardinals sent him up to Springfield to end the year, where he worked exclusively out of the bullpen. His peripherals nose-dived, as he lost almost two strikeouts off his k/9 and added a full run to his ERA. The team found out near the beginning of the 2012 season that Swagerty would need Tommy John surgery, so the year was completely lost.
Going into 2013, Swagerty’s status as a prospect is up in the air. I can see him falling out of the top 15 just because of the mystery that goes along with TJ surgery, but there is still a good chance he becomes a force in Major League baseball. A good comparable is Jaime Garcia, who had Tommy John surgery a few years ago and bounced back to show effectiveness. Time will tell on Swagerty.