Erik Swanson joined the Yankees organization along with Nick Green and Dillon Tate in exchange for Carlos Beltran on August 1, 2016. He was the Rangers eighth-round draft pick in the 2014 First-Year-Player Draft. The right-handed pitcher was drafted out of Iowa Western Community College but was signed to go to the University of Pittsburgh.
After signing with Texas, Swanson reported to the Spokane Indians of the Northwest League to start his professional career. In 15 games, all in relief, he owned a 1-2 record with a 4.63 ERA and 24 strikeouts in 23 1/3 innings.
In 2015 Swanson had a brief 1-game appearance in the Triple-A Pacific Coast League with the Round Rock Express, striking out two batters in an inning before reporting to the Frisco RoughRiders for a game. There he walked 2 and struck out one while allowing a run on two hits for the Rangers Double-A affiliate and on June 21 he would head to the Hickory Crawdads where he would spend most the season.
With the Crawdads Swanson appeared in 7 games, striking out ten batters in 12 1/3 innings but his season would end after suffering a forearm flexor strain. He would return later in the year for a one-game rehab stint with the Arizona League Rangers but by then the season was just about over.
Swanson started 15 out of the 19 games he has appeared in with the Hickory Crawdads in 2015. He earned a 6-4 record and a 3.43 ERA. His success earned him a spot in the 2016 South Atlantic League All-Star Game. After being traded to the Yankees, he reported to the Charleston RiverDogs. In 5 games for the RiverDogs, he threw 15 innings, striking out 15 and allowed just six earned runs. Overall, he earned a 6-5 record with a 3.46 ERA in 24 games, 17 starts between the two teams.
The 2017 season was Swanson’s first full season as a member of the Yankees organization, he spent the entire season with the Tampa Yankees of the Florida State League where he was a mainstay in their rotation. In 20 starts he earned a 7-3 record with a 3.95 ERA and struck out 84 batters in 100 1/3 innings pitched.
Swanson has a powerful fastball that regularly sits 91-96 miles per hour which has topped out at 98 MPH that has been rated as a plus pitch. His out pitch is a hard slider and he compliments it with a change-up that is developing. He spent a good portion of the 2016 season working on his changeup.
He can develop into a starter if his changeup continues to develop but worst-case scenario he can become a shutdown reliever and possibly a closer for an MLB team. If he moves to the bullpen full time he could find himself moving quickly through the farm system.
Swanson pitched well in 2017 and has earned a shot at Double-A. Look for him on the mound for the Trenton Thunder of the Eastern League in 2018, but at this time it is not known if it would be as a starter or as a reliever.