USA Today

Atlanta's newest top prospect might not take long to prepare for the big leagues

Dansby Swanson may not take a long time before he's ready to take over for Erick Aybar in Atlanta.

He was the first round pick just six months ago. He was a college player. So how long will it take before Dansby Swanson make it to his new team?

Swanson had just 22 games played for the Diamondbacks last summer. He hit .289 with a home run, 11 RBI, seven doubles and a .394 on base percentage for Hillsboro in the Northwest League, Arizona's Low-A team.

The Braves got Erick Aybar from the Angels in the Andrelton Simmons trade. The veteran is a free agent after the 2016 season, so that may make the timetable for Swanson pretty easy to estimate.

However, let’s compare Swanson to Troy Tulowitzki, who was drafted by Colorado with the seventh overall pick in 2005 out of Cal State. Tulowitzki was in the big leagues at the end of 2006 for 25 games and then had his first full major league season in 2007. The Rockies sent Tulowitzki to Double-A for the 2006 season and he spent the whole season there before going to the AFL in October.

Expect the same timetable for Swanson, who will likely go right to Double-A Mississippi to start the 2016 season. Then if he has a full season there, the Braves can test him in the AFL and see how close he is to being ready for Atlanta. It will be a perfect story if Swanson is able to replace Aybar in the opening day lineup in 2017. That would put a local kid on the roster in the new Sun Trust Park when it opens up in Swanson’s hometown.

So yes, the only question we will have is whether Swanson does so well in Double-A that he speeds up his arrival in Atlanta. But there's little doubt that when the new ballpark opens, Swanson should be ready to take over at shortstop for the Braves. 

ETA: 2017

Listen to “The Bill Shanks Show” from 3-6 p.m. weekdays on WPLA Fox Sports 1670 AM in Macon and online at Follow Bill at and email him at

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