04 Jun

messrs. 500

It seems somehow appropriate that Dansby Swanson and Ozzie Albies got their 500th career major league hits Thursday in the same game. The pair first played together as a keystone combo with the Mississippi Braves in 2016 and have followed a similar career arc. Swanson made his MLB debut in 2016, Albies the next year. They’ve now played 386 games together as the Atlanta shortstop and second baseman, respectively. They’ve been cogs – along with a bevy of other former M-Braves — in Atlanta’s run of three straight division titles. Swanson’s 500th hit was a big homer, figuratively and literally (440 feet), in the sixth inning of the 5-1 win over Washington at Truist Park. Albies’ 500th was his third hit of the game, an RBI double in the seventh. Sometimes you forget that Swanson was the No. 1 overall pick out of Vanderbilt in 2015 by Arizona, which sent him to Atlanta in the infamous Shelby Miller trade later that year. Swanson hasn’t always played up to that label. A recent hot streak has boosted his average to .239 with 10 homers and 25 RBIs. He’s a career .248 hitter prone to strikeout-filled slumps, but he flashes enough star power to keep Braves Nation excited. Albies was signed as a kid out of Curacao and has been a rock-solid contributor since arriving in the ATL. A switch-hitter, he’s currently batting .251 with nine homers and 32 RBIs. He is a .276 career hitter who has won a Silver Slugger and made the All-Star Game. Both young infielders are pretty slick with the glove. It’s too soon to start throwing out comparisons to Trammell and Whitaker, Russell and Lopes, Concepcion and Morgan, etc., but there does seem to be that potential. (At least Braves fans hope so.) P.S. An interesting footnote: The last teammates to get their 500th hit in the same game were former Ole Miss star David Dellucci and Gary Matthews Jr. with Texas in 2005. Dellucci, now starring on the SEC Network, finished with 736 hits.

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