Nick Swiney, LHP, SF

What do you do if you don’t have velocity on your fastball? You do what Nick Swiney does.

Video courtesy of Sean Bialaszek
  • Born: February 12, 1999
  • B/T: Right/Left
  • 6’3″, 185-lbs
  • Drafted by the San Francisco Giants in the 2020 MLB June Amateur Draft from North Carolina State University (Raleigh, NC)

The Numbers

His raw numbers are listed above courtesy of baseball-reference.com. Let’s aggregate by year then focus on the important numbers for minor leaguers:

Swiney came out of the gate throwing strikes, but his walk rate hurt his WHIP. Still, he was so dominant in 2021, he got away with it with a nice xFIP.

In 2022, he moved to High-A, and there his strikeout rate wasn’t quite as dominant, and that walk rate continued to be an issue. You see the xFIP went up.

Breaking down 2022 by month, he struggled in April, turned it on in May, cruised through June showing all-around dominance, then walked the world in July, before righting the ship in August.

It reminds us that a smooth season number is made up of lots of ups and downs along the way.

Against RHBs, he struck out 32% while walking 10%.

Against LHBs, he struck out 22% while walking 14%.

That’s a bit worrisome in terms of a split, but at least it’s a good side platoon.

The Scouts

Warnings

He needs better control, full stop.

We need to see how he does in Double-A.

Conclusion

Swiney is a lefty who pitches backwards, using his good changeup and curve more than his fastball. He changes eye levels and hides the ball. When it works, he has glorious months.

When his secondary pitches have so much movement that they drift out of the strike zone, he has poor months.

Without much velocity (it’s a low-90s FB), he cannot consistently be dominant.

Yet with three average or better (his changeup could become plus) pitches, he has the makings of a #4 or #5 starter in the majors.

If he can learn to control the ball better as he reaches the upper levels.

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