Dansby Swanson picked an excellent time to turn in a career year. This season, he anchored the Atlanta Braves title defense at shortstop and helped them win over 100 games and take the National League East crown.
Their repeat hopes were dashed by the eventual NL champion Philadelphia Phillies, but it was a successful season for them and their shortstop nonetheless.
Swanson played in every single game this season. He did so alongside fellow Brave Matt Olson. That is an impressive stat, especially in the day and age of resting players, but it's hardly the most impressive stat for him.
He posted a career high 6.4 fWAR, which was good for 11th in all of baseball. It was a full three wins above his previous career high of 3.4 that he earned in 2021.
His 116 wRC+ was also a career high, albeit only one point ahead of the 115 he posted in the shortened 2020 season.
His slash line was .277/.329/.447. The .277 batting average was a career high from a full season. He knocked 25 home runs out of the park and recorded 96 RBI, which was also a career high.
On defense, he recorded three defensive runs saved for another solid year at shortstop. That number is pretty solid, but his Outs Above Average is even better.
The metrics are split, but his 21 OAA was second-best in all of baseball. He was either a good defender or the best shortstop in the league, depending on which metric.
Swanson now enters free agency with an astonishingly good year under his belt. It appears the former number one overall pick is finally figuring it out.
What will Dansby Swanson's next contract look like?
The Braves aren't in the business of letting their talent walk away. They've signed Spencer Strider, Ozzie Albies, Ronald Acuna Jr., Matt Olson and others to extremely long contracts.
To see Swanson in another uniform would be a big surprise, but it is going to cost Atlanta.
His next contract is expected to run to at least $25 million a year. Given his age, another mega contract is not out of the question. 10 years, $250 million is something he could genuinely get.