Patience or Panic: Dansby Swanson, Anthony Volpe, and José Berríos

What should we do with these struggling players?

Welcome back to our Patience or Panic series! We are now past the mathematical halfway point of the season, and the All-Star Break is rapidly approaching. Now feels like a good time to look back at some of my recent Patience or Panic recommendations to see how I’ve done so far, with the caveat that there are still more than 70 games to play. I’ve sorted them into five categories below.

Panic, should have had patience (2): Kenley Jansen (Week 3), Jackson Chourio (Week 9)

Patience, should have panicked (2): Kevin Gausman (Week 3), Michael Harris II (Week 9)

Correct to panic (4): Victor Scott II (Week 1), Corbin Carroll (Week 5), Nolan Jones (Week 5), Daulton Varsho (Week 13)

Correct to have patience (4): Yordan Álvarez (Week 1), Francisco Lindor (Week 3), CJ Abrams (Week 11), George Springer (Week 7)

Neutral/too early to tell (9): Bailey Ober (Week 1, Patience), Josh Hader (Week 5, Patience), Cedric Mullins (Week 7, Panic), Marcus Stroman (Week 7, Panic), Evan Carter (Week 9, Panic, got hurt right after publication), Ozzie Albies (Week 11, Panic), Pablo López (Week 11, Patience), Maikel Garcia (Week 13, Panic), Jo Adell (Week 13, Panic)

All stats for the players discussed today are through the games of July 8. Hopefully, I can add them to one of my “correct” groups in a couple of months!


Dansby Swanson, SS, CHC


Last 30 days: .170/.255/.284 (54 wRC+), 5 R, 2 HR, 9 RBI, 1 SB

Season: .204/.281/.341 (78 wRC+), 33 R, 8 HR, 27 RBI, 5 SB


I was in on Swanson this year at a price right outside the top 100 after a solid but unspectacular campaign last season, where he hit .244 with 81 R, 22 HR, 80 RBI, and nine SB in 147 games. I figured Swanson was a good bet to repeat the counting stats and see some positive regression in batting average given that he was a .257 hitter from 2021-2023. It appears that I was sorely mistaken, as Swanson has struggled across the board this season, much like his Cubs.

Swanson is sporting a career-high K% this year (27.7%, 24.5% career) fueled by career-worst zone contact, contact, and swinging strike rates, all of which rank below the 20th percentile. Swanson’s average launch angle of 10.4 degrees is the lowest he’s posted since his age-23 season in Atlanta. That year, he posted a 63 wRC+ and only hit six long balls. Swanson’s power is fringy to begin with (career 8.4% Barrel% and 12.7% HR/FB), so he needs to consistently hit the ball in the air to tap into it.

Panic. Aside from a track record as a roughly league-average hitter (career 94 wRC+), there’s little in Swanson’s profile to suggest that he can turn it around. He’s also fallen from 5th to 7th in a lineup that is 21st in runs per game this season at 4.11 after ranking 6th last year with 5.06. His counting stats have taken a big hit as a result, and I’m not seeing many signs of life in the profile. In shallow leagues (10 or 12 teams), I’ve already cut Swanson, and I’m starting to take him out of my starting lineup in deeper ones.


Anthony Volpe, SS, NYY


Last 30 days: .174/.202/.243 (25 wRC+), 12 R, 0 HR, 7 RBI, 3 SB

Season: .251/.305/.377 (95 wRC+), 59 R, 6 HR, 32 RBI, 15 SB


Volpe’s struggles have gone hand in hand with his team’s, as the Yankees are 5-15 in their last 20 games. Volpe has been the fourth-worst qualified hitter in the last 30 days, after his early-season work showed signs of an offensive breakout. Unlike many hitters these days, Volpe worked in the offseason on flattening his swing and lifting the ball less. This was a welcome change in my eyes, as Volpe’s flyball-heavy approach in the minors and his rookie season (albeit to a lesser extent) didn’t allow him to take advantage of his speed and caused his on-base percentage to suffer.

Anthony Volpe, 2023 vs. 2024


As you would expect based on the adjustments, Volpe’s offensive profile has completely changed year-over-year. He’s getting away from the three true outcomes, as he’s walking and striking out less while hitting for less power, supported by a significantly lower launch angle. Even though Volpe’s actual offensive production has been better this year than last year, his expected wOBA is considerably worse. A lot of this has to do with his barrel rate absolutely plummeting from 8.5% to 3.4% (15th percentile).


Verdict: Panic. Volpe has leaned way too far into his flatter swing and contact-oriented approach. His launch angle and flyball rate (22.3%) are each below the 10th percentile, as is his pull rate (28.5%, 3rd percentile). No hitter can consistently put the ball over the fence with a batted ball profile like that, and Volpe hasn’t hit a homer since May 16! His slump has also caused him to lose his spot atop the lineup against right-handed pitching. This will hamper his ability to contribute in his two best categories, runs and stolen bases. I hope Volpe can find a middle ground between his 2023 and 2024 approaches and firmly establish himself as a top-100 fantasy asset, but I wouldn’t count on him doing so this year.


José Berríos, SP, TOR


Last 30 days: 6 GS, 34.2 IP, 27 K, 5.97 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 3 W

Season: 115 IP, 87 K, 3.76 ERA, 1.13 WHIP, 8 W


Nick calls Berríos The Great Undulator, as he has his share of ups and downs but almost always ends up with a solid final line. This season is no exception, as Berríos got off to a fantastic start in 2024. He allowed only three earned runs in his first five outings, but hasn’t had a scoreless start since and has only allowed one earned run once in those last 14 starts. Surprisingly, he still has three wins in his last six starts even as the Blue Jays continue to struggle.


José Berríos, 2024 vs. Career

Patrick Fitzgerald

Patrick Fitzgerald is a Staff Writer for Pitcher List's fantasy team. He is an alum of Vassar College, where he pitched on the baseball team and studied economics and political science. Patrick is an avid O's fan and head-to-head fantasy baseball player (roto remains a work in progress).

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