Nick Swisher has already been overlooked, to a degree, during the last couple of seasons. Since joining the Yankees in 2009, Swisher has always been known as the upbeat personality in the clubhouse, the guy who always has a smile on his face.
And that's all well and good. But hitting 29 home runs each of the last two seasons should be recognized as well.
Swisher's past production perhaps became more apparent when his numbers took such a dip at the start of this season. When April turned to May, the right fielder was hitting .225. When May turned to June, he was hitting .213.
Finally, Swisher started heating up in June, raising his average to .251 after hitting .326 for the month. Since the All-Star Break, he has hit .338.
He likely won't reach the 29-bomb threshold in 2011, but his power output has increased as well as the season has progressed. Swisher hit three home runs through April and May, and 11 through June and July.
Unfortunately, due to his slow start, few are realizing that Swisher's bat has picked up during the most necessary of times. Derek Jeter went on the disabled list. Alex Rodriguez eventually took his place. Jorge Posada has struggled, and Mark Teixeira and Robinson Cano have each endured the occasional slump.
Swisher may have been essentially absent for the first two months of the season, but his increased production since then has been truly significant.