Many Yankees fan think they know what to expect from Nick Swisher this season based on his past statistics and/or some gut feeling – myself included. However, doesn’t it make more sense to get an opinion from someone who has seen Swisher play – and seen that often? To that end, I reached out to a couple of fellow bloggers who had more exposure to Swisher’s performance. And, here’s what they had to say…
First up is Nico from Athletics Nation:
Fans should not expect Nick Swisher to be as good as the 35 HR slugger he was with the A’s in 2006, nor as bad as the .219 hitter he was with the White Sox in 2008.
What Swisher is, as far as I’m concerned, is about a .250/.350 [BA/OBP] hitter good for about 25 HRs, who can play an excellent 1B and a solid corner OF but who is really stretched if he tries to play CF.
I’ve never thought Swisher was a premier talent, but he can be a productive player and in the clubhouse he is certainly a lively and fun presence whose energy seems to work well for most teammates.
And, next is Jim from Sox Machine:
The Swisher era still confuses me.
For one, he blamed his woes partially on batting leadoff, which he’d never done before. But… he was awesome in his first two weeks leading off, and then again in June, well after Ozzie dropped him down in the order. Even if hitting first truly freaked him out, there’s no reason for the second two-month crash.
And while he hit a lot of line drives right at people in the first half, after the break, he had huge problems taking the bat off his shoulder. At one point in September, he struck out looking in three consecutive at-bats. Against J.P. Howell in the ALDS, he worked a 3-0 count, then proceeded to watch three strikes to end the inning. So while sabermetricians will look at his line-drive rate and stamp him “unlucky,” it ain’t that easy.
There’s a good chance he’s a useful player. He can play the corner spots just fine, and while he’s a below-average center fielder, he can be out there for a week and you might not notice. He has range at first, but falls on his ass a lot in unsuccessful scoop attempts.
But his personality is probably what packed his bags. Armchair psychologist: He’s manic, and wants to say awesome things (he was pumped to bat first at the start of the season) while having an awesome time. When things aren’t awesome, he’ll still act like it (he smiles and nods after called strikes) until it becomes awesome again. Losing playing time to Dewayne Wise and Ken Griffey Jr. finally smashed the facade. If Teixeira and Nady take his ABs, it’ll be interested to see if he’s adjusted, or if he’ll pout again. He’s saying 2008 humbled him, but that’s just the awesome thing to say right now.
Very interesting stuff here, huh? My thanks to Nico and Jim for this insight.
Will Swisher be a productive player or a pouter for the Yankees? It seems he’s capable of being one or the other. I guess we’ll have to wait and see…