Sometime a ballplayer’s value goes way beyond the box score. With Nick Swisher, he is a guy that fits that mold. The Cleveland Indians brought in a guy that understands winning and does produce results at big moments.
One thing that young teams sometimes fail to do is understand winning. Swisher coming over from the New York Yankees brings with him an understanding of what it takes to win as well as play at baseball’s highest level. This type of knowledge will be passed helpful in teaching the younger players on the Indians what it means to play for a winner as well as giving Tribe fans hope with Swisher’s play.
The Ohio native opened eyes when he signed a four-year $56 million deal with the Tribe. Many expected him to potentially stay with the Yankees or play for a different team, but going home and winning with the Indians was important to Swisher. Besides his playing credentials, Swisher will also be linked to Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane who drafted Swisher in the first-round. of the MLB draft. Swisher’s playing style was highlighted in the book Moneyball by Michael Lewis. He was drafted because of his ability to see pitches and produce walks. He has not disappointed with a career .361 on-base percentage despite only hitting .256 in his career.
The Indians look like they’ve got an uphill battle to fight chasing the Detroit Tigers in the AL Central. But Swisher at least gives them a better shot going into the season and will be a counted on heavily to provide leadership and guidance by new manager Terry Francona. It’s a new year for the Indians, and they’re hoping that Swisher leads the way.