St. Louis Cardinals Former Prospect Friday: Jordan Swagerty


Every Friday, we’ll be looking back at a player who was at one point on MLB Pipeline’s list of top Cardinals prospects, but for some reason or another never made it to the major leagues. We’ll start off with today with a pitcher that was considered as big-league ready as just about any prospect, but never made it to the majors due to injuries.

Jordan Swagerty

Ranked as the Cardinals’ #4 prospect in 2011, #15 in 2012, #14 in 2013

Swagerty, a righthander out of Arizona State, was selected by the Cardinals in the second round of the 2010 draft and was viewed as a pitcher who could quickly make his way to the major leagues as a late-inning reliever. With a special breaking ball and an above-average fastball, Swagerty looked like he could follow Jason Isringhausen and Ryan Franklin in the line of All-Star Cardinals closers.

That projection looked to be very accurate in the early going, as he pitched at three different minor-league levels during his first professional season in 2011 and had ascended from Low-A to Double-A by the end of the year.

As that season ended, Swagerty looked to be knocking on the door of the big-league club, having posted a combined 1.83 ERA, 0.97 WHIP, and .204 opponent average over 36 appearances across those three different levels.

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Swagerty began dealing with injury issues during spring training of the following season, though, and his career ended up taking such an aggressive turn for the worse that he’d make just 29 more appearances during his time in the Cardinals organization.

Swagerty first dealt with bone spurs in his elbow that ended up causing instability with his UCL. That forced him to undergo Tommy John surgery, which knocked him out for the entire 2012 season. A pinched nerve limited him to nine appearances in 2013, and a second bout with bone chips in his elbow knocked him out for the entirety of 2014.

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Swagerty ultimately was released on July 15, 2015 after posting a 12.38 ERA, 2.81 WHIP, and .338 BAA in 20 games at Springfield last season. He hasn’t pitched for any team since, and considering his long history of injuries, it would be surprising if he played professional baseball again.