Cards AFL Interview Series: Jordan Swagerty

St. Louis Cardinals 2010 second-round draft pick Jordan Swagerty speaks from the Arizona Fall League.

St. Louis Cardinals pitching prospect Jordan Swagerty wasn't exactly where he wanted to be during Saturday night's Arizona Fall League Rising Stars Showcase, watching the game from the stands in his street clothes instead of having earned the opportunity to be in uniform.

The right-hander did not have the opportunity to fully complete in the 2010 AFL due to an oblique pull that prematurely ended his initial professional campaign after just four outings. Swagerty emphasized the injury is not serious.

"I barely hurt it. They said I would be out for only about four days, but at this point, with so little time left, the organization decided to play it safe. I can understand why they did that," the pitcher explained.

After all, the Cardinals made a significant investment, $625,000, in the former Arizona State star. Over five AFL innings, Swagerty allowed four runs, two earned, on seven hits, fanning three without yielding a walk. His ERA was 3.60.

Swagerty's AFL pitching coach, Brad Holman from the Texas Rangers organization, sees a positive in the pitcher's injury, giving him the opportunity to work with the youngster on some of the mental aspects of the game as the 21-year-old moves from collegian to professional.

"I think he is just getting acclimated to the environment. He comes out of college and there are a lot of differences from one level to the other. I think it is good for him to be here, just to be around the other guys and see how they act, how they go about their business.

Rafters relievers Blake King, Swagerty and Ramon Delgado
"It is his first year and kind of where he is at (out with the injury), it is not a bad place to be," Holman said. "We have talked a little bit about pitch sequences and knowing when it is the proper time to challenge a guy as opposed to pitching around the guy.

"That is something that is a little different in college. They use the aluminum bat and I think it is the tendency of pitchers there to stay away and stay soft. When you get to the wooden bat, it is a little different. You can come in on guys and it makes the away part of the plate open up. Until you do that, in professional baseball, guys lean over and cheat.

"With Jordan, it is getting him to change his perspective on the approach he takes, his sequences and attacking hitters. He is definitely capable of pitching at this level. It is just a matter of going up through the proper ranks and waiting his turn. His stuff is very good," Holman concluded.

In the following exclusive audio clip, Swagerty discusses his transitions, from collegian to pro, from catcher/pitcher to full-time hurler and at least for a period starting next spring, from relieving to starting.


In an indication that Swagerty hasn't completely left hitting behind, I captured this shot of him working on his bats outside the Rafters' clubhouse.

TCN has you covered!

As every year, The Cardinal Nation is your leader in independent first-hand reporting on and from the Arizona Fall League. Keep checking back for daily for new interviews with the Cardinals prospects playing for the Surprise Rafters this fall and their coaches.

Other interviews in this series
Brian Broderick
Ramon Delgado

Coming soon
Blake King
Zack Cox
Adron Chambers
Tony Cruz
Pete Kozma
Derrick May

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