MLB Player Profile: Indians OF/1B/DH Nick Swisher
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Tuesday January 22nd, 2013
By Larry Myers (Indians Correspondent) Follow @TribeFanz1969
Nick Swisher is the latest free agent player the Cleveland Indians have signed this off-season. Nick Swisher is the son of former MLB catcher Steve Swisher, who played for a few National League teams back in the 1970′s and 1980′s. Swisher was born in Columbus, Ohio, but grew up in West Virginia. Before his professional career, Swisher played college football for the Ohio State Buckeyes. Drafted by the Oakland Athletics in the 2002 MLB Draft, Swisher finally made his MLB debut with the Athletics in 2004.
During the 2004 season, Swisher played in only 20 games. In 2005, Swisher went on to hit 21 HRs and 74 RBI in 131 games. He finished 6th in the American League Rookie Of The Year Voting. During his 4 years in Oakland, Swisher hit 80 home runs and 255 RBI – while playing in 458 games. Not known as a player with a high average, he became a leader on a young Athletics teams. Swisher showed a great amount of durability during his time in Oakland compared to his teammates who spent a large portion of time on the Disabled List. Swisher made his Post Season debut in 2006. While sweeping the Twins, Swisher got 3 hits and an RBI in that series. Losing to the Tigers in the ALCS, Swisher hit .100 with only 1 hit.
One On One Interview with Nick Swisher Jan.03/2013 (Sports Time Ohio):
Swisher was traded to the Chicago White Sox for a package of Minor Leaguers that included Gio Gonzalez and Ryan Sweeney.. Swisher became a fan fave right from the start, but struggled with a .219 Batting Average – with 24 HRs and 69 RBI. Because of the poor offensive from Swisher, he was benched by Ozzie Guillen for most of September. Despite his poor year, Swisher was added to the Post Season roster against the Tampa Bay Devil Rays. The White Sox went on to lose the series in 4 games and Swisher had only 1 hit and 2 walks.
In November of 2008, Swisher was traded to the New York Yankees. At the time of the trade, Swisher was acquired to be their starting First baseman. With the Yankees signing Mark Teixeira soon after, that position was now gone and Swisher became a bench player. Because of injuries, Swisher finally started a game in Right Field and never let go. During his 4 yrs in New York, Swisher hit 105 HRs, and drove in 349 RBI – while keeping his average above .270. Swisher’s Post Season adventures continued in the 4 years with New York, but he finally got his first ring with the 2009 New York Yankees. Swisher’s 2012 season was right on his career average. Swisher hit .272 with 24 HRs and 93 RBI, but again struggled in the PS – with 5 hits and 2 RBI in 8 games. In November 2012, Swisher declined a 1 YR/$13.3 Million Dollar offer from New York and became a Free Agent.
During this past off-season, Swisher signed a huge 4 yr, $56 Million contract with the Cleveland Indians. The contract included a 5th yr vesting option worth $14 Million, making the total contract worth $70 Million. This is one of the largest contracts for a Free Agent the Cleveland Indians have given a player in the last 10 yrs. When this deal first went down, I asked myself why this guy and what will he bring to MY team? This is a guy who can’t hit in the playoffs – and his injuries seem to catch up with him in the second half of every year. I see a guy who has ties to the Ohio area, is a good club house guy, will get on base with walks and hits, good glove in the outfield and has some pop in his bat. Does all this make up for his lack of offensive in the Post Season? If you are an Indians fan, you would love to have the guy just help you in getting to the Post Season – and take your chances in October baseball afterwards.
The Indians are in a rebuilding age now. This is a team full of young talent. Bringing in a man like Swisher and Mark Reynolds to teach this team how to win and have fun can make up for the bad post seasons. With a new manager, Terry Francona, leading the team with returning players like Carlos Santana, Jason Kipnis and Asdrubal Cabrera, the Indians can put together a lineup with some pop – and should have a better time of it to score runs. Swisher will bring leadership and pennant drive experience to the Indians. Swisher will become a fan favorite in a town that loves baseball. As a true Indians fan, seeing Swisher in the Tribe uniform for the first time, I will cheer him on because he is one of the good guys of baseball. So in closing, I am asked by friends, do I think Swisher deserves the money he received for the Indians…..I say he does and welcome him with open arms to Cleveland.
*** The views and opinions expressed in this report are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of mlbreports.com or their partners.***
A big thank-you goes out to our ‘Indians Correspondent’ Larry Myers for preparing today’s featured article. Larry was born in Cleveland, Ohio and raised all over Southern California. He has been a Cleveland Indians fan his whole life. Larry’s grandfather was a huge fan and knew a lot of the old-time players. I get to as many games as possible ( Minors and Majors ). His fave players of ALL-Time are Bob Feller, Herb Score and Jim Thome. Larry loves going over the stats of Indians players and watching every game on TV. Follow Larry on Twitter and talk about the games of Baseball Follow @TribeFanz1969
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Posted on January 22, 2013, in The Rest: Everything Baseball and tagged 2006 ALCS, @tribefanz1969 on twitter, al central, american league rookie of the year, asdrubal cabrera, carlos santana, chicago white sox, Cleveland, Cleveland Indians Payroll, gio gonzalez, jason kipnis, larry myers, mark reynolds, mark teixeira, minnesota twins, new york yankees, nick swisher, oakland, oakland athletics, ozzie gillen, progressive field, ryan Sweeney, steve swisher, tampa bay devil rays, Terry Francona, yankee stadium. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.