Matthew (Jordan) Swagerty
6′ 1″ 175lbs.
AZ’s snap take: Reminds me of Jess Todd and Joe Kelly. I’d bet the Cardinals try him in the rotation for a while first. Not a pick that I’d have made but one that fits recent Cardinals drafts and one that could surprise.
From MLB.com Draft Tracker:
Swagerty is a draft-eligible sophomore who has been a two-way player as a catcher and a reliever. His future as a pro will be on the mound as he brings three outstanding pitches and good command to the table. While it might be tempting to start someone with that combination of skills as a starter, his aggressive approach on the mound, a delivery that has some effort to it and not the biggest frame in the world, relief work appears to be his calling. He profiles as the type of college reliever who could be quick to the big leagues, and those are typically in high demand when the draft rolls around. Video
From Baseball America:
Swagerty was a highly touted high school player out of Prestonwood Christian Academy in Plano, Texas. He was a 2007 Aflac All-American and a member of Team USA’s junior national team. Now a draft-eligible sophomore, the 6-foot-1, 175-pound righthander has been dynamite at the back end of the Sun Devils’ bullpen. His fastball sits in the 92-94 mph range and can get up to 96 when he’s amped up. But, that’s not his best pitch. Swagerty also throws a 84-86 mph curveball that grades out as a legit 70 on the 20-80 scale. It’s a true 12-6 hammer. Swagerty’s size concerns some scouts, but he can hold his velocity in back-to-back outings. He doesn’t quite profile as a big league closer, but should move quickly to the big leagues and reminds scouts of Angels set-up man Scot Shields.
Swagerty, who caught part-time last year when he wasn’t making spot starts or throwing in middle relief, has been sitting 90 to 94 as the Sun Devils’ closer this year, with a hard curveball anywhere from 78 to 85 mph. The breaking ball has good depth and tight rotation, although it’s not 100% consistent yet. His arm works well and he gets good downhill plane by staying on top of the ball through his delivery, overcoming the fact that he’s not that tall.
He’s aggressive, competitive, and a little hyper on the mound, and could move quickly through the minors as a one-inning guy who’s already accustomed to that role.