Anthony Swarzak touched the lives of baseball fans on Saturday night when he went 7 1/3 hitless innings, out of nowhere, for the Twins in his 14th Major League start. Swarzak seemed like a career Minor Leaguer, but at 25 and after 66 starts at Triple-A Rochester, including 22 last year and parts of four seasons in Triple-A, Swarzak finally made good on his opportunity.
Swarzak was a 2nd round pick in the 2004 MLB Draft and was ranked in the top 100 prospects by Baseball America in 2006, albeit as number 100. He hit a snag in his development on April 20, 2007, when he was suspended for 50 games for testing positive for a “drug of abuse,” clearly not steroids. It threw off his development and could have ended his career, but he battled through it and reached the Majors for a 2nd time this season after spending all of last year in Triple-A.
Swarzak’s numbers have never been eye-catching. He seems like an inning-eating type, possibly a long reliever long-term. His numbers really took a hit in 2010, as he went 5-12 with a 6.21 ERA in Triple-A. He isn’t someone to take seriously in fantasy leagues, even AL-only leagues, but you have to appreciate someone who has overcome a mistake to reach the highest level.