Monday, April 11, 2016

Meet a Prospect: Nick Swisher

The New York Yankees announced over the weekend that former Yankees outfielder and first baseman Nick Swisher, recently released by the Atlanta Braves, was working out with the team down at the minor league complex in Tampa and was expected to sign a minor league deal with the club. Swisher is back, unofficially or officially yet, so let's meet him the only way we know how to here at The Greedy Pinstripes. This is Meet a Prospect: The Nick Swisher Edition. 

Nick Swisher was born on November 25th 1980 in Columbus Ohio. Swisher is the son of former catcher Steve Swisher who played in carious National League teams in parts of the 70's and 80's. After his parents divorced when he was 11 years old he went to live with his grandmother, who he claims to be the closest person to him. Swisher honors his grandparent, who are now both passed away, by looking up into the sky before every single pitch. We all in Yankee land and The Greedy Pinstripes thank her for that because without her we might not have had Nick Swisher to be talking about in our next edition of Meet A Prospect, the special edition.

Swisher was a two sport star in Parkersburg High School, where he played both football in baseball and Swisher also lettered in basketball. After being recruited as a Strong Safety by many team, including Notre Dame, he decided to quit football and pursue his baseball career. He was not selected in the draft after his high school years so Swisher decided to go to College at Ohio State University.

At Ohio State he was named Big 10 Freshmen of the Year in 2000 and was a All Big 10 selection in his Sophmore season of 2001 while leading the league with 15 home runs. After his college career he was drafted by the Oakland A's in the first round of the 2002 MLB First Year Players draft using a compensation pick for losing Johnny Damon in free agency. Swisher was the first draft class that the popular term "moneyball" was used in as Swisher was one of the few players that sabermetric heads and traditional scouts could agree on.

Swisher had a minor league career that was pretty much run of the mill to be completely honest. His own shining star was his 102 walks, which led the league, in the 2005 minor league season. Swisher made his major league debut in September of 2004.

Swisher has done okay as a major leaguer with his shining achievement being his World Series ring he now wears from the Yankees 2009 World Series team and his sole All-Star selection in 2010 for the Yankees. He also married television Actress, and hottie, Joanna Garcia. All the time he still had time to have his own foundation called "Swish's Wishes", which I highly recommend everyone check out, that helps children who are facing medical crises.

After Swisher left the Yankees after the 2012 season he signed a lucrative contract with the Cleveland Indians for four years and $52 million but injuries and mediocrity would describe the length of this contract. Following the 2014 season Swisher had surgery on both of his knees and began the 2015 season on the disabled list. Swisher spent much of the 2015 season as the team's designated hitter before being traded to the Atlanta Braves in an obvious salary dump. 

Swisher finished the season in Atlanta and tried to win a spot on the 2016 roster before being designated for assignment and released. The Braves will be on the hook for his $15 million in salary this season while he toils in the Yankees minor league system just waiting on the call from Yankees GM Brian Cashman. Welcome back to the family Swish!

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Sorry for the Capatcha... Blame the Russians :)