24. Atlanta Braves (18–23, minus-23, LT: 27)
Finally ... FINALLY! ... Dansby Swanson has come back...to raking.
The number-one overall pick in the 2015 draft broke into the big leagues with a bang last year, hitting .302/.361/.442 in his 145-plate appearance debut. Still rookie-eligible this season, Swanson was the odds-on favorite to win Rookie of the Year. Then, April happened. The 23-year-old shortstop hit a measly .156/.200/.233 in April, raising doubts about his major league readiness.
The beauty of being a rebuilding team, though, is being able to stick with the kids. In 17 May games, Swanson’s turned the tide, batting .291/.414/.455. He’s roped line drives at a better-than-30% rate in May, second among all MLB shortstops, and is making hard contact far more frequently this month.
There’s always a risk in overemphasizing stats in small sample sizes, of course. Then again, this is the Swanson we all expected coming into this season. If Freddie Freeman is Atlanta’s franchise player, Swanson could soon become a worthy running mate.