The Many Frustrations of Nick Swisher

Nick Swisher has been pretty much perpetually underrated in fantasy formats for the past number of years. He has been dual eligible at 1B and OF and has been a strong contributor in OBP leagues, which are the only types of leagues I personally play in. He has pretty consistently hit for mid 20’s power with equal RBI and R contributions that start at the low 80’s and reach to the mid 90’s.

This year, that’s not the Swisher we are getting. At age 32, it does not look like Swisher is finished, but it does look like he is in the starting phases of the decline years. He also got taken from an awesome hitter’s park to a not so awesome hitter’s park, which certainly has its affects in fantasy baseball. But even outside of the unfortunate park movements, he is hitting in a good lineup and should be producing a lot more than he has. Some people have been forced to utilize Swisher at first base due to injuries or poor performances, and the likelihood that their team is successful with Swisher starting at one of the biggest power positions in the league is low.

ZiPS has Swisher at .248/.343/.420 with 11 home runs, no steals, 39 runs, and 39 RBI over 81 remaining games. Which one of those numbers are you satisfied with? I’m not even content with any of them. It is difficult to move Swisher at this point due to how poorly he has hit of late, but selling low on him is not the worst thing you can do. There are still probably a good amount of Swisher believers out there and some who can use his limited flexibility as well.

His name still carries a decent amount of weight and his overall numbers for the year are not yet terrible due to the hot start he had before he was injured. I have Swisher in a few leagues and I am certainly looking to find a suitable trade partner for him. It is not time to sell him for absolutely nothing, but it is time to grab some value for him that you think may have some upside. Because at this point, I think a 107 wRC+ is about what Swisher has to offer.

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Ben Duronio writes for Capitol Avenue Club, FanGraphs, and does the Sports Illustrated Power Rankings. Follow Ben on twitter @Ben_Duronio.

15 Responses to “The Many Frustrations of Nick Swisher”

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  1. Luis Matos says:

    I just traded for him in an OBP league. His shoulder has been bothering him. I think he’ll start hitting better if he can get that taken care of.

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  2. Urban Shocker says:

    He’s good in your fantasy clubhouse.

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  3. Sarge6 says:

    Swisher’s actually adapted to Progressive Field pretty well (.377 wOBA). It’s the road where he’s been unplayable (.287 wOBA). On this two-week slump, I want to hear more about his shoulder before I give up. (And in a perfect world, Corey Hart would be returning to 1B/OF now and ready to rock, so you could sit Swisher until he gets sorted out.)

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  4. Motley Yu says:

    Swisher or Chris Carter ROS?

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  5. Cameron says:

    When a player who has been as consistent as Swisher starts under-performing at an age that doesn’t scream “done,” it is usually because he is playing injured. Swisher’s shoulder has been bothering him, which i guarantee (without looking it up) has led to an increased ground ball rate and decreased flyball rate. That is probably why is power is down. All that means that he will likely disappoint this year and then be a draft day bargain next year when he returns to his previous career, consistent norms. Not really that hard to figure out.

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  6. Mike says:

    Swisher has been dealing with a shoulder problem and even quoted that he had never felt anything like this before. Francona mentioned that a DL stint is not out of the question. He may not put up his numbers from prior years, but I personally won’t be as quick to write him off as some people might seeing as though he’s not playing healthy.

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  7. Mister says:

    I understand that this is a free website and all, but I don’t understand why the author bothered to write this article if he wasn’t going to dig any deeper. This article basically says nothing besides “Swisher hasn’t done well this year, Zips projects him to continue doing poorly, and you should sell low.” There’s a lot more to talk about with Swisher. No mention of the fact that he’s been playing with a shoulder injury all season? No mention of his decreased HR/FB batted ball distance?

    I think it all comes down to whether or not he can get fully healthy again during his current time off. If he can, he’ll go back to being his old self, but if he can’t then he will continue to struggle and/or see a longer DL stint.

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    • ngrimson says:

      It’s exactly the same as his last article on Andrelton Simmons. One glance at his stat page and five paragraphs to tell you what he saw.

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  8. KB says:

    You would think Swisher was the ebola virus based on the responses I’ve received from owners when I’ve included him in offers (prior to news of the shoulder injury). “Sell low” offers at that.

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  9. Adam says:

    As others have said, you can pretty much chalk up Swisher’s offensive issues to a nagging shoulder injury that Francona says may have resulted from him moving back and forth between 1B and RF without much time in RF during Spring Training. I think it’s very possible he hits the DL for 15 days, and when he comes back he’ll be at 1B full time. Should see him return to his normal, consistent self after that.

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  10. paul says:

    What’s frustrating about Swisher? He got hurt around late may/ early june. He tried to play through it. It didn’t work. It’s the Terry Francona’s fault for not noticing, and not putting him on the DL earlier.

    Swisher will bounce back, it’s just a matter of time and rest.

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  11. Ben says:

    Swisher got dropped in my league and I picked him up with a plan to play him against lefties and see if he starts to heat up overall. Every year I pick up a platoon splits guy that ends up producing outside his favorable split (Last year was Goldy), so I’m hoping Swisher’s that guy this year. Playing platoon splits for struggling hitters with high upside can pay off if you have bench spots in your league.

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  12. Wobatus says:

    A 25% line drive rate and a fairly normal for him FBI rate suggests his .280 babip is unlucky. And others have noted the shoulder issue limits his power. He’s hit pretty well since his return from a brief rest. Keep him rested and out of rf. Should be fine.

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