Selected as the Pirates' 41st-round draft pick out local Duquesne
University in 2004, Schwartzbauer's true goal this year is to reach
the Class AA level in Altoona as well as succeed with the Curve in
order to keep moving up through the organization.
"I've been fortunate enough to move up a level every year," explained
Schwartzbauer from Pittsburgh's minor-league spring training
facilities at Pirate City in Bradenton, Fla. "My goal is to get to
Altoona because I obviously want to get to the big leagues. I just
have to my job and hope everything works out.
"As you move up everyone gets consistently better. You learn to make
the adjustments. I was able to put together a good second half last
season. I'm hoping to have a big season this year and go from there."
A 5-foot-11, 169-pound second baseman, Schwartzbauer batted .259 (93
for 359) with 44 runs scored, 20 doubles, two home runs and 55 RBI in
105 games at Class A Lynchburg last season.
Over the course of his three professional seasons, the 25-year-old has
made one important change to his game.
"My approach at the plate," the righthanded hitter said. "I made
adjustments about a year ago, and working with (roving minor-league
hitting coordinator) Gregg Ritchie has really helped.
"I changed just a couple mechanical things and just my overall
approach with the mental part where I can expect what to see. I just
hope to make solid contact consistently. I think that's a big part of
it that can help me get to Double-A."
Schwartzbauer hit .366 (45 for 123) with nine doubles, one home run
and 24 RBI in 35 games during his first professional season with
rookie-level Bradenton in 2004. He followed up by batting .269 (87 for
324) with 17 doubles, five homers and 34 RBI in 97 games with Class A
Hickory in 2005.
"If you get big hits in big situations when there's runners on base,
they're going to look at you," Schwartzbauer said. "So I was pretty
excited with the numbers I put up.
"I definitely feel great and think I'm where I need to be. I just want
to tighten up my game at second and hope it works out for me."
A true-homegrown product out of Shaler High School in nearby Glenshaw,
Pa., Schwartzbauer hit .329 with 11 doubles, two triples, three home
runs and 27 RBI in 44 games his senior year at Duquesne. During his
time with the Dukes, he set a school record with 25 steals in 27
attempts as a sophomore in 2002. He finished his collegiate career
ranking second all-time on Duquesne's career steals list with 57.
He, however, has yet to have an opportunity to become such a menace on
the base paths in the minors. After combining to steal a total of eight
bases (5 while in Bradenton and 3 with Hickory), Schwartzbauer swiped
eight alone with the Hillcats last year.
"I would definitely like to improve on those numbers," Schwartzbauer
explained. "Early going you're not as free as in the college ranks.
(In the minor leagues) they kind of have the reigns on you.
"I've talked with some people and absolutely want it to be a part of
my game. Sooner than later it will happen."
In order to stay on track this winter, Schwartzbauer spent the
majority of his offseason sharpening his skills in the very ballpark
he anticipates playing in one day.
"I'm fortunate enough to live in Pittsburgh and able to workout at PNC
Park," Schwartzbauer said. "It was a great experience and I really
enjoyed that and being able to hang out and talk with Zach Duke.
"It gave me a better understanding of what is expected and the stuff I
still need to do."
During the offseason as well as when Duquesne visited Bradenton
earlier last month for a scrimmage against the Pirates, Schwartzbauer
also had the opportunity to talk with Pittsburgh manager Jim Tracy.
"Tracy is a great guy," Schwartzbauer said. "I got some good
information just speaking with him to know what he's looking forward
As for where he will begin this season?
"I don't know yet," said Schwartzbauer, who will likely start his
campaign back at Lynchburg with hopes of a midseason promotion. "I
haven't met with (director of player development director) Brian
Graham. It's all going to depend on the trickle effect from the top
"But I have to work hard and try to make the decision an easy one for them."
Dan Schwartzbauer's prospective toward the 2007 season is quite simple.
"It's another year I'm in the organization and it's another year
keep trying to turn some heads."
Bucs like second baseman's grit and determination.