ATLANTA -- Now that they have been given a chance to play together in the Majors, Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies are proving why they have often said they bring out the best in each other.Albies has shown he can make necessary adjustments while being introduced to the game's highest
ATLANTA -- Now that they have been given a chance to play together in the Majors, Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies are proving why they have often said they bring out the best in each other.
Albies has shown he can make necessary adjustments while being introduced to the game's highest level, and Swanson seems to have benefited since returning from his brief demotion to the Minors. Both added to their recent string of multi-hit games during Saturday night's 7-6 loss to the Rockies at SunTrust Park.
"Positive energy is a real thing," Swanson said. "With us being around each other, that is very noticeable. He plays the game with a lot of passion and high energy. He's kind of crash and burn. He's kind of all out. Being next to somebody like that, you can kind of feed off of that."
Albies certainly provided some excitement as he flashed his tremendous speed yet again while notching his first career three-hit game during this loss.
The 20-year-old second baseman fueled some hope when he singled and scored on Matt Adams' two-run, ninth-inning homer off Rockies closer Greg Holland. Albies also electrified the home crowd with a fourth-inning triple and a sixth-inning double that positioned him to score on a game-tying single that highlighted Swanson's two-hit performance.
"[Albies and Swanson] are doing great," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "They're playing with a lot of confidence and believing in themselves."
After spending a portion of last summer together with Double-A Mississippi, this highly touted duo was separated when Swanson was called to the Majors and enjoyed instant success last year. Their bid to be reunited with Atlanta this year was delayed as Albies got his first call to the Majors on Aug. 1, six days after Swanson had been demoted to Triple-A Gwinnett.
As the switch-hitting Albies batted .170 (8-for-47) through his first 14 games, he created further concerns about his capabilities from the left side of the plate. But with hitting coach Kevin Seitzer's assistance, Albies improved his timing by modifying his leg kick and also halted his habit of routinely altering his swing mechanics.
"The first week, my week was all over the place," Albies said. "It was my first time, and I was all excited. Now, I'm sticking [to my plan] every single day."
Albies has batted .412 (14-for-34) with four triples and four doubles in his past nine games. He is the first Braves player to record four triples through his first 23 career games since Chet Ross reached this total in his 22nd career game, spanning the 1939-1940 seasons.
Per Statcast™, the speedster from Curacao needed 11.38 seconds to reach third base with the triple he hit against the Mariners on Monday. Saturday night's triple was clocked at 11.41 seconds.
Since returning to the Majors on Aug. 9, Swanson has steadily benefited from an improved approach and better plate coverage, which has made him less susceptible to pitches on the outer third of the plate. He has slashed .400/.552/.524 in his past nine games and regained that confidence he possessed before enduring this year's growing pains.
"I just think the subtle changes I've made, whether it's from perspective or thought process, has really, really helped," Swanson said. "Obviously, whenever you go up there and have that feeling, it's definitely a good thing. I can't say enough about how happy I am with where I'm at. I'm just learning more and more about myself and the game."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.