During August, Swauger, who turned 23 years of age three weeks ago, went 35-for-89 (.393) with 11 doubles, one triple, 19 RBI, 22 runs and nine runs scored. His on-base percentage of .415 coupled with his slugging percentage of .539 totals a very respectable .954 OPS for the month – all accomplished while competing in the pitcher-friendly Florida State League.
The Citadel product, taken in the 26th round of the 2008 First-Year Player Draft, has undertaken an impressive turnaround, with steady progress each month of the season. His average began at an anemic .167 in May, was up to .226 for June and .266 in July.
Swauger's Palm Beach manager, Tom Spencer, is among those who have witnessed the outfielder's improvement first-hand. "Swauger really came on as a hitter as the season progressed," Spencer observed. "He started slowly but showed the ability to catch up to the league."
To demonstrate such marked progress, there had to be a reason. Spencer has noted a better approach at the plate. "Chris is hitting the ball from line to line with authority. One of his biggest improvements was his ability to hit left-handed pitching," his manager explained.
The left-handed hitter actually has better numbers in all three slash stats against left-handed pitchers than he does against righties, with a .308/.333/.477 line in those situations this season.
The Tampa native comes toward September's season close on a nice run. Over his last ten games, Swauger is batting .421 with hits in seven games and multiple safeties in five of them. He logged his biggest game of the month a week ago Sunday vs. the Marlins as he went 5-for-6, including a double, scoring once and driving in four.
Congratulations to Chris Swauger, our Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Player of the Month for August.
Previous 2009 Scout.com Cardinals Minor League Players of the Month:
April: Daniel Descalso
May: Charles Cutler
June: Jarrett Hoffpauir
July: Allen Craig
Brian Walton can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org. Catch his Cardinals commentary daily at The Cardinal Nation blog.
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