Draft profile: Dansby Swanson
*** With the 2015 First-Year Player Draft fast approaching, we take a closer look at the top prospects in this year's class. ***
Name: Dansby Swanson
Rank on Draft Top 200: 2
Bats: R Throws: R
Height: 6'0" Weight: 195 lbs.
Previously Drafted: 2012, 38th (1158) - COL
Future grades on 20-80 scouting scale
30: Well below average
40: Below average
60: Above average
70-80: Well above average
*Through SEC tournament
Foot and shoulder injuries limited Swanson to 16 at-bats in his first year at Vanderbilt, but he returned with a vengeance in 2014. He took home Most Outstanding Player honors at the College World Series as the Commodores won their first championship, then he became the top position prospect in the college class after a strong summer with the U.S. collegiate national team. He's maintained that status this spring by proving he can handle shortstop after moving from second base to replace Yankees ninth-round pick Vince Conde. Most scouts believe he has the quickness and arm strength to stay at the position long term, even though he hadn't played there since he was a Georgia high schooler in 2012, when the Rockies drafted him in the 38th round. Swanson is a technically sound hitter who fits at the top of his lineup with his on-base ability and speed. While he's not a big home run threat, he can drive the ball into the gaps. His makeup is off the charts and universally praised by coaches and scouts.
MLB comp: Derek Jeter
Fun fact: After Swanson missed most of his freshman year with injuries, his sister, Lindsey, got him a voodoo doll in the shape of a rhino as a Christmas present. While the gift was a joke, it has stayed in Swanson's locker ever since, and so far, he has stayed healthy under its watch.
He said it: "I'm just able to lock in. I can give some of the credit to playing basketball in high school, when there were big games, being able to harness that energy and focus for each at-bat or each pitch or each time down the floor. I've been in a lot of big moments before, so I'm able to feel comfortable and natural in those settings."
"It was more of a transition going from short to second than second to short, because it's just my natural position. So I'm definitely very confident and comfortable over there, and I enjoy playing it. I take pride in playing it. I'm definitely looking forward to being able to do it at the next level."
They said it: "He's got tremendous awareness of what's around him, and great instincts for the game. He's savvy. He's just a very good package of a lot of different things."
-- Vanderbilt head coach Tim Corbin
"I think he's a kid that can stay [at shortstop]. There's no hesitation with me, because he continually gets better at that position. He's a point guard out there. He can play on the run. He can play in any direction. He's got dexterity, he's got flexibility, he's got awareness, and he creates angles. There's just a lot to his game."