I’m the first to admit that I initially hated the Nick Swisher deal that took place unexpectedly after the 2007 season. For one, the A’s had just finished locking up the fan favorite Swisher, to a multi-year deal worth $45 million. Secondly, when the A’s had sent Swisher to the Chicago White Sox in exchange for Gio Gonzalez, Fautino De Los Santos, and Ryan Sweeney, I had no idea how they’d pan out in Oakland.
Well, two seasons later I now know what Oakland got in return for Swisher. For the sake of this blog, I’ll only be focusing on one of those players mentioned above–Ryan Sweeney.
Sweeney, who debuted in 2008 for the A’s hit .286/.350/.383 in 115 games. That year he hit 5 homers and drove in 45 runs. Last season, the defensively talented Sweeney made difficult plays in the outfield look like routine ones. Sweeney batted .293/.348/.407 and knocked in 53 runs. So, after his first season with the A’s, Sweeney improved offensively in 2009, and proved to be an excellent defender in the outfield as well.
If you need more evidence of Sweeney’s abilities offensively, take a look at his performance in the second half of ’09:
June: 42 ABs, 15 hits, .357/.372/.500, 1 HR, 6 RBIs
July: 80 ABs, 23 hits, .288/.321/.363, 6 RBIs
August: 92 ABs, 27 hits, .293/.356/.500, 3 HR, 10 RBIs
September: 86 ABs, 31 hits, .360/.418/.477, 16 RBIs
In contrast with Swisher, Sweeney may lack power, but he definitely has the edge on Swisher in terms of average, speed and defense. Below is a look at Sweeney and Swisher’s 2009 campaign:
Sweeney, A’s: .293/.348/.407, 6 HR, 53 RBI, 40 BB
Swisher, Yankees: .249/.371/.498, 29 HR, 82 RBI, 97 BB
Sweeney and Swisher are two completely different players in terms of what they can bring to their respective teams. Sweeney will give you a high average, and will generate his share of runs, while Swisher will hit 25 bombs and draw 100 walks.
Although Swisher was one of my favorite A’s players, Sweeney is playing at a high level that deserves recognition. Now that I look back at it, the A’s didn’t do too bad in the deal that sent “Swish” away from Oak-Town.
Here’s my prediction for Ryan Sweeney in 2010:
.293/.354/.412, 10 HR, 61 RBI