Key Stats: For seven straight years Nick Swisher has hit more than 20 home runs. Since he became a Yankee in 2009, he has finished with 82 to 89 RBI per season. And finally he’s had 81 to 91 runs scored over the past five seasons. It is a very boring pick, but there’s a reason that every other commercial we see on Sunday’s during the priciest spots for commercials during NFL Games are about insurance. People like security and Nick Swisher’s numbers are essentially guaranteed to be there.
Skeptics Say: If you like upside, steals, or batting average that is guaranteed not to be there. Swisher’s career average is .254 and he’s never had more than three steals. A three category player in the outfield is not exactly a rarity.
Peer Comparison: Swisher isn’t ranked as high here as he is at all of the sites listed in the What They’re Saying section. Some of the names I have immediately ahead of Swisher are Brennan Boesch and Peter Bourjos.
Why Boesch? Take a look at the lines from last season:
Boesch: 75 R 16 HR 54 RBI 5 SB .283 AVG
Swisher: 81 R 23 HR 85 RBI 2 SB .260 AVG
The advantage to Swisher of course, but consider that Boesch played in 35 less games. The injury could be a trend, but until we have more time to make that judgment I will take the guy that is four years younger.
As far as Bourjos, the numbers are tilted in Swisher’s favor, but Bourjos is easily better in two categories and has the upside to make up some of the difference in the other categories.
Lineup Outlook: More than half the time that Swish was in the lineup last season he was hitting sixth in the order. Usually it’s better to hit second which he is capable of, but in the Yankees lineup it really doesn’t matter. Should the Yankees move Jeter out of the leadoff role perminantly (he still hit leadoff in the playoffs)? Probably. Should Curtis Granderson be in the middle of the order instead of hitting second in the order? Probably. Again though it doesn’t matter. Robinson Cano, Alex Rodriguez, and Mark Teixeira are as good as any three through five combination in the game. If Swish is hitting sixth that’s a fine spot to drive home runs.
Projection: Given that Swisher is ranked anywhere from the 29th outfielder at ESPN to the 40th outfielder at FBHS, he is a potential platoon player in mixed leagues. He is a much better hitter at home and against lefties if you care to mix and match.
80 R 22 HR 86 RBI 1 SB .257 AVG .820 OPS