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11/25/1980 (36 y, 2 m, 25 d)
2002 June Amateur Draft - Round: 1, Pick: 16, Overall: 16, Team: Oakland Athletics
$56M / 4 Years (2013 - 2016) + 1 Option Years
Swisher officially announced his retirement via the Players' Tribune on Friday. (2/17/2017)
Braves Playing Time Battles: Hitters
Blake Murphy (RotoGraphs)
Sunday Notes: Felix, Shark, Archer, Sale, Castella»
David Laurila (FanGraphs)
Is Nick Swisher Done?
Drew Fairservice (FanGraphs)
Reviewing 2014 Pod’s Picks: Outfield
Mike Podhorzer (RotoGraphs)
2015's Far Too Early Sleeper Team
Mike Petriello (FanGraphs)
(Click Year to Expand /
Year in Review:
After a terrible season (on the surface) with the White Sox in 2008, the Yankees managed to pick Swisher up for peanuts prior to the 2009 season. He continued to be the three-true-outcomes player that he's been his entire career, as he struck out a ton (25%), walked like it was his job (16.3%), and blasted 29 home runs out of the new Yankee Stadium. He also put up 35 doubles – 14 more than his 2008 season with Chicago. As a result, Swisher posted a .375 wOBA and a 132 wRC+, both of which were career highs. Swisher's value returned to its career norm, at 3.5 wins above replacement.
The Year Ahead:
Normally, a BABIP of .277 like Swisher's would mean that we could expect even further offensive boosts in the year to come. However, while regression would likely raise his batting average on balls in play, it would likely result in fewer doubles, as Swisher's SLGBIP (slugging percentage on balls in play) was actually slightly better than his career norms due to the high number of doubles that he hit. His overall power might stay high due to the short porch in right field, but don't expect Swisher to hit doubles at quite as high of a rate this year. He's still a 25-home-run guy and his batting average will probably sit in the .250 to .270 range. As a three-true-outcomes player, his actual value will outweigh his fantasy value unless your league counts walks, but he's a productive outfielder no matter what way you slice it. (Jack Moore)
In terms of wOBA, little distinguishes Swisher's 2009 season (.375) from his 2010 (.377). But the way in which he got that career-best 2010 mark was drastically different. The switch-hitter with the perpetual grin worked on his swing with Yankees hitting coach Kevin Long and was much more aggressive at the plate this past year, swinging at 25.7% of pitches thrown out of the strike zone. That was still roughly 12% below the MLB average, but consider that Swisher's O-Swing was 30% below the big-league average in 2009, 26% below in 2008 and 34% below in 2007. As a result, Swisher walked just 9% of the time in 2010 after drawing ball four about 15% the previous three years. Yet, his offensive production didn't decline due to a .335 BABIP that was far and away the highest of his career (2007 is the only other time he topped .300; his 2007-2009 BABIP was .275). Swisher staved off decline by batting near .290. But unless he can sustain that gigantic BABIP increase (don't bet on it), he will be best served in the long term by getting back to working deep counts. (David Golebiewski)
The Quick Opinion:
Fantasy types might look at Swisher's much-improved batting average and conclude that 2010 was a big positive for his value, but that might not be the case if he continues to be more aggressive while his BABIP regresses to previous levels. Odds are, his walk rate returns to the double-digits and his batting average is closer to .250-.260 next year.
The switch-hitter with the perpetual Cheshire Cat smile had another typical Swisher season, drawing lots of walks and hitting for good-not-great power while slashing .260/.374/.449. Swish seemingly traded free passes for more pop in 2010, walking 9.1 percent of the time and slugging a career-high .511, but he reverted to his high-OBP, moderate slugging ways in 2011 (15 walk rate, .449 slugging percentage). A career low fly ball percentage may have been the culprit in 2011, but since he just turned 31, it's also possible that Father Time is starting to get his grips on yet another player. Most projection systems call for a power rebound in the coming season, but in leagues that use batting average, Swisher's upside is limited and now his downside seems ever more probable. In all ottoneu formats, however, his positional eligiblity and strengths can be more rewarding than usual. (David Golebiewski)
The Quick Opinion:
He’s not an elite outfield option, but Swisher is a stalwart in leagues that count OBP and is a lock for another .800+ OPS. Maybe he can charm his way on to Modern Family to redeem his sit-com cred.
Swisher, 32, has been one of fantasy's most consistent producers in recent years. He's hit .260-.290 with a .360-.375 OBP, 24-29 homers, and 80-95 RBI in each of the last three years. Neither his batting average on balls in play nor his home runs per fly ball waver much year-to-year, and he's not yet reached the point where age-related decline will be an issue. Moving out of Yankee Stadium and into Progressive Field will cut into his production a bit, but otherwise you can grab Swisher (who is first-base- and outfield-eligible) and take his above-average production to bank in 2013. (Mike Axisa)
The Quick Opinion:
Few players produce as consistently as Swisher, who is good for above-average performance in everything but batting average and stolen bases. His value in OBP leagues is even greater.
Remember 2008? Nick Swisher played his lone season on the South Side and the White Sox did not get what they expected. A career low batting average on balls in play was matched by career lows in the triple-slash stats. Even with 22 home runs, Swisher was panned as a disappointment, the Sox moved on, and the Yankees benefited. In 2013, Swisher has his lowest BABIP since 2009, and his lowest numbers in all the rates since 2008. The parallel isn't perfect -- Swisher is now 33 years old, not 28; he is not about to get dropped into a new offense -- but the lesson remains. Swisher has been incredible consistent over his career, and his batted ball profile in 2013 was in line with his career, just a few fewer fly balls and a few more line drives. I wouldn't expect much more power, but the rates should bounce back. After all he was dealing with a shoulder injury for much of last year. If you can pay a price based on 2013 you could easily get production closer to (although not quite matching) 2012, and that would be a nifty profit. (
The Quick Opinion:
A solid player for a full decade now, Swisher is likely entering the decline phase of his career, but the underlying numbers suggest he isn't done yet. I'd bet on 2014 being better than 2013.
Even the staunchest Nick Swisher supporters would have a hard time defending the exuberant 34-year-old after his miserable 2014 campaign -- I would know, I'm one of them. Despite a slight regression during his first year in Cleveland, Swisher earned the $14 million average annual value the Indians gave him in the offseason. The following year, though, it all fell apart for Swisher, and his contract now looks to be among the worst in baseball. Swisher struggled mightily through 400 painful at-bats before eventually succumbing to his body's aches and undergoing surgery on both knees in August. His once-elite walk rate took a dip, he became uncharacteristically overaggressive at the plate and his strikeouts spiked, and he continually beat ground balls into the shift, all of which added up to a .208 batting average and .278 on-base percentage. With the emergence of Carlos Santana as the team's everyday first baseman and the signing of Brandon Moss, Swisher's playing time ceiling took a hit. Swisher will bounce back from his 2014 numbers -- it's hard to get worse -- and he's still penciled in as the team's Opening Day designated hitter. With healthy knees, Swisher will receive 500 or more plate appearances, but he's far from the safe bet he's been for the last decade. (
The Quick Opinion:
You could make a case that Swisher had the worst season of any regular position player in 2014. That he was dealing with injuries in both knees that required surgery could help explain some of his struggles and point towards a bounceback, but at the same time it's hard to be too excited about a 34-year-old designated hitter coming off double knee surgery.
Nick Swisher did not make his 2015 debut until May due to recovery from surgery on both knees, and his left knee caused him to miss nearly two months later in the year. Once the Governor of Brohio returned from the disabled list, he had been traded to the Braves. Between the two clubs, Swisher made it into 76 games and made 260 trips to the plate, hitting .196/.312/.320 for a rough 75 park and league adjusted OPS that bested only his modest '14 campaign. Looking a bit closer, Swisher's walk and strikeout rates were actually notably better than his career marks, but a .228 batting average on balls in play (.287 mark lifetime) dragged his slash line down considerably. That is not to say that his poor performance was solely due to bad luck, but it is worth noting that he had a .273 BABIP when he was even worse in '14. As for '16, Swisher could certainly improve his performance at the plate, but it would be tough to predict a full rebound for the 35-year-old with bad knees. Additionally, his already poor defensive reputation has only gotten worse, and he finds himself without a clear role on a rebuilding Atlanta roster. Swisher is capable of drawing walks and hitting for some pop, but his days of 20+ homers every year ('05-'13) are likely done. (Dylan Higgins)
The Quick Opinion:
Swisher was once a perennial power producer, but knee problems have derailed his career over the past couple seasons. Although there are indications that he still has the plate discipline to contribute, fantasy owners have to keep their expectations low at this point.
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Updated: Sunday, February 19, 2017 3:33 AM ET
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