If you watched any of the NCAA Baseball Tournament or College World Series this year, you probably saw Kenny Swab manning centerfield for the Virginia Cavaliers. Swab is a normal catcher, but was athletic enough to move to center so that Virginia could maximize their offense (John Hicks caught most games down the stretch).
Swab was drafted by the KC Royals in the 21st round in this June’s draft. He was drafted as a catcher. After spending the second-half of his spring in the outfield for Virginia, Swab signed not long after the Cavaliers’ exit from the CWS. He has transitioned back behind the plate in the Appalachian League for the Burlington Royals. When he isn’t catching, he serves as the DH (or gets the night off). He has just three errors so far during his first professional season.
Burlington has played 50 games so far this season and unfortunately are in last place in the East Division of the Appy League (19-31). Swab has played in 23 of Burlington’s 50 games. He is hitting .241 with three doubles, one homerun, seven runs scored, and 12 RBIs.
In his last ten games, Swab is hitting .333 with ten RBIs (so he seems to be heating up). Over his last five games (so far in August), he is hitting .444 with eight RBIs. He hit his first professional homerun on Thursday August 11th.
Swab has also proven to be a clutch hitter in his early professional career. He is hitting just .190 with the bases empty. However put a few baserunners on, he goes crazy. Swab is hitting .297 with runners on base and .370 with runners in scoring position.
The Royals have just promoted their catcher of the future, Salvador Perez, to the big leagues in the past few days. Swab could be his platoon partner in the big leagues in the next few years.