Inside The Dugout: Anthony Swarzak

For Midwest League batters, Anthony Swarzak has been making them question a career change this season. Coming off a great first season in professional baseball, Swarzak has anchored the Beloit Snappers this season. The 7th ranked player in the Twins organization by Baseball America, Swarzak is currently leading the Midwest League in strikeouts, and was recently named the Twins' Minor League Pitcher of the Month for May.

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Anthony Swarzak is a 6'4'' fireballer who the Twins feel can be a front of the rotation starter someday. He has electric stuff, and in his second year of professional baseball, is maturing into an elite pitching prospect.

Swarzak went to Nova High School in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. In his senior season, he led Nova to a Florida 5-A championship, their first state title in the last 57 years. His efforts would grant him a scholarship to national powerhouse Louisiana State.

The Twins took him in the second round of the 2004 June draft. He would be signed by Brad Wetzel for $575,000. The right-hander would then start off his career with the Gulf Coast League Twins.

It did not take Anthony very long to get accustomed to professional baseball. In his first season, he pitched in 11 games while starting nine. He struck out 42 batters in 48 innings while compiling a 2.63 ERA to go along with his 5-3 record. To cap off his short season, Swarzak was named the 12th best prospect in the Gulf Coast League by Baseball America.

He was the staff ace for the GCL Twins, leading the team in wins and games started, and was third on the team in strikeouts. Among the rest of the Gulf Coast League pitchers, Swarzak finished ninth in ERA.

The season was so good for Swarzak that, Baseball America named him the seventh best prospect in the Twins organization.

Nowadays, you can find Anthony pitching in the Midwest League with the Beloit Snappers, the Twins Low-Class A team. The hurler has had an up and down season, but his numbers are still very solid. He is 8-5 with a 3.86 ERA. His strikeouts have been the biggest upside for him this season, with a league-leading 98 in 86.1 innings of work.

His best month of the season would have to have been May. Named the Twins' Minor League Pitcher of the Month, Swarzak went 5-0 with a 0.24 ERA in six starts. He struck out 40 batters in his 37 innings of work, and held the opposition to a .168 batting average. On the season, he is holding batters to a .236 clip.

What makes him good: Swarzak possesses a fastball that ranges from 90-92 mph but has topped out a 95. His curveball is his strikeout pitch, while his change up also makes batters miss. He throws a slider, which is his most underdeveloped pitch, and his tall, lean body generates a lot of arm speed. Considered to have the highest ceiling of all the Twins' low level prospects.

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