From the December issue of Commodore Nation
Dansby Swanson became a household name among Commodore fans after helping lead Vanderbilt to the 2014 national championship. Now, the former College World Series MVP has become immensely popular on a much larger scale after his impressive play with the Atlanta Braves during the final two months of the season.
Swanson spent the final 38 games of this season with the Braves, hitting .302 with three homers, 17 RBIs and three steals. He energized the Atlanta fan base with his style of play, and almost instantly became the face of the franchise.
Swanson was drafted by the Arizona Diamondbacks with the No. 1 overall pick in the MLB draft in June of 2015. He was then traded to the Braves after the 2015 season.
This year, he quickly rose through Atlanta's minor-league system, and was called up to the big-league Braves in August. He made his MLB debut on Aug. 17 against Minnesota and produced a pair of base hits.
Swanson is one of 13 former Commodores who saw action in Major League baseball this season. Here's a quick look at the former Commodores fared:
PEDRO ALVAREZ (Orioles) Played in 109 games in his first season with the Orioles after signing a one-year contract last March. He batted .249 with 22 homers and 49 RBIs. It was his fourth season with 20 or more home runs.
CURT CASALI (Rays) Played in a career-high 84 games, the most by any Rays catcher this season. Batted .186 with 23 runs, eight homers, and 25 RBIs. Casali led all Rays catchers in homers, RBIs and runs scored.
CALEB COTHAM (Reds) Appeared in 23 games in his first season with the Reds. Compiled 21 strikeouts in 24 1-3 innings pitched. His season was cut short in July after having surgery to repair a torn meniscus cartilage in his right knee.
RYAN FLAHERTY (Orioles) Played in 74 games with the Orioles and five games with Triple-A Norfolk. Batted .217 with 34 hits, three homers and 15 RBIs and posted a .291 on-base percentage, which was the second highest of his career.
SONNY GRAY (Athletics) Appeared in 22 games in his third full season with the Athletics. Picked up five wins in 117 innings pitched with 94 strikeouts. His season was shortened due to two disabled-list stints with right arm soreness in May and August.
TONY KEMP (Astros) Played in 128 games between the Astros and Triple-A Fresno this season. Made his MLB debut against the White Sox on May 17th and scored a run when he entered the game as a pinch runner. Finished his first year in the majors batting .217, with four doubles, three triples, one homer, seven RBIs and two steals.
MIKE MINOR (Royals) Appeared in 25 games after signing a two-year contract in December. Compiled a 6-12 record with an ERA of 4.77 and 120 strikeouts in 145 1-3 innings pitched. This was his first year back after missing all of last season with a torn left labrum.
DAVID PRICE (Red Sox) Appeared in a career-high 35 games during his first season with the Red Sox after signing a seven-year contract in the offseason. Finished with a 17-9 record, 3.99 ERA and a career-best 228 strikeouts in 230 innings pitched. Ended the season on a strong note with an 8-3 record and 87 strikeouts after the All-Star break.
DREW VERHAGEN (Tigers) Appeared in 19 games for the Tigers in his third season with the team. Tallied 10 strikeouts in 19 innings before his season was cut short in June. He missed the rest of the year with thoracic outlet syndrome, which restricts blood flow to his arm.
CARSON FULMER (White Sox) Much like his former teammate Swanson, Fulmer rose up quickly in the White Sox system just one year removed from being drafted. Fulmer spent most of the season (21 appearances), between Double and Triple-A before being called up in July. He made his MLB debut on July 17th against the Angels and pitched two scoreless innings in relief. Fulmer appeared in eight games with the White Sox, totaling 10 strikeouts in 11 2-3 innings of work.
MATT BUSCHMAN (D-Backs) Made his MLB debut on April 10 against the Cubs. Pitched one inning of scoreless work in relief. Appeared in three games with the D-Backs, totaling 4.1 innings of work with a 2.08 ERA and three strikeouts.
DREW HAYES (Reds) Made his MLB debut on April 21 against the Cubs. He pitched two innings and gave up four runs on two hits. Hayes appeared in three games with the Reds before being optioned to Triple-A Louisville, where he appeared in 38 games over the course of the season.