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Bullpen Day Thrives, Yanks top Rays 4-1

Entering the last week of the regular season the Yankees opened a four-game set Monday night in the always dreaded trip to face the Tampa Bay Rays. The Yankees came into tonight sitting one and a half games (two in the loss column) above the Oakland A’s for home field advantage in the AL Wild Card game. Aaron Boone decided to go with a “bullpen day” tonight instead of giving the ball to a typical starter.

The forgotten pitcher in the Carlos Beltran trade: Erik Swanson


When the Yankees shipped Carlos Beltran to Arlington in the summer of 2016, they received three minor league pitchers, most notably, Dillon Tate who was a former top-five draft pick. While Tate has flashed signs of his former self, there is another pitcher who is currently flying under the radar and proving why he could have been absolute steal. Meet Erik Swanson.
 
Photo Credit: Martin Griff



Swanson is a 24-year-old RHP from Terrace Park, Ohio. He attended Mariemont High School in Cincinnati and then proceeded to attend Iowa Western Community College. He was drafted by the Rangers in the 2014 First-Year-Player-Draft, who eventually traded him to the Yankees.

Swanson pitched extremely well in limited action in 2015 amidst injuries posting a 2.35 ERA in ten games. He performed relatively well in split time with the Yankees and Rangers system in 2016, and in Tampa in 2017, however, he has propelled himself into new heights in 2018.

In six games (five starts), he has accumulated a 0.78 ERA, 11.4 K/9, 0.84 WHIP, and has yet to allow a home run. To summarize his impressive stats, he has been flat out amazing, dominating the Eastern Association, and causing people to take notice.

What has caused this sudden shift? According to Swanson, he credits his new-found success to his curveball. He did not have a feel for it in 2017, but after experimenting with some new grips, he has been able to utilize that pitch to transform his game. He also features a low-mid 90’s fastball and an above average changeup.

The 6’3”, 245-pound kid is not among the Yankees’ top prospect list, but has been the Yankees best starting pitcher in their minor league system, and he has been catching the attention of scouts and fans alike. The Yankees do not appear to be rushing him through the system, but if he keeps up this pace, Triple-A could be in his future along with a placement among the Yankees’ top prospects.

Article by: Ryan Thoms 

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