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|
"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.
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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.
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Also catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog. Selected TCN content appears at FOXSportsMidwest.com. Follow Brian on Twitter.
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