Major League Baseball Team Analysis: Atlanta Braves, Part 1
- Updated: November 28, 2007
The Usual Suspects
The players who supported the Braves offense in past years, did so again in 2007…with a little help from their youth movement. Chipper Jones was his typical offensive self despite trips on the DL due to arm and wrist woes. See his numbers below. The only question I have is how much longer will his body allow him to play?
The same goes for one of the best young catchers in the game, Brian McCann who struggled with lower body woes (doesn’t every major league catcher). His on again, off again injuries brought his numbers down a bit from where they should be, but if healthy in 2008, expect those numbers to improve.
McCann’s injuries this past year helped the Braves to acquire 1B Mark Teixeira at the trading deadline from
Although CF Andruw Jones’ numbers were lower than what the Braves are use to from him, with the exception of average and OBP, they weren’t bad for an All Star centerfielder. Just don’t expect to see him in a Braves uniform in 2008. He’s a Scott Boras client who will get the most money he can get, especially in such a weak free agent market. Plus Torii Hunter has just signed which will only increase the demand for Jones. Possibly a trip to the LA Dodgers is in the future for Jones.
SS Edgar Renteria, who was recently traded to the Tigers for two prospects, had another season that had
Renteria’s trade to the Tigers was made possible by the surprising play of rookie Yunel Escobar who put up Renteria-like numbers except for his HR and RBI totals. For those Fantasy Baseball fanatics, Escobar qualifies at 2B, 3B and SS in 2008. It’s not typical that a team can so easily trade away a player of Renteria’s statue without feeling it, but that might not be the case here. Escobar hit only .006 points behind Renteria for average and only .005 points behind in OBP. Renteria had only 5 more doubles, but played in 29 more games than Escobar in 2007. This was a good time for this trade and the Braves couldn’t have felt better about it. For example, if it happened a year earlier, with the unknown that was young Escobar, they might not have been able to pull the trigger on this deal. Plus, in this scenario, it took a little pressure off the rookie in what could have otherwise been a more stressful situation.
Another bright spot was the smooth transition from OF to 2B for Kelly Johnson. His power numbers dropped in the second half of the year, but Chase Utley he’s not. What he is though, is a solid bat in Atlanta’s middle infield that should be dependable for as long as he is under contract with the Braves. Nothing flashy about him, but they have enough flash at the corners already.
We now see that RF is secure in
With the probable departure of Andruw Jones to free agency, maybe the platoon of Willie Harris and Matt Diaz will turn into everyday play for both men. Harris also qualifies in CF as well in 2008. As a platoon in LF they hit a combined .304 with a .359 OBP with 14 HRs, 77 RBIs and 21 stolen bases. The problem with this is that makes the Braves weaker in the OF overall. Personally, I think that they need another bat and keep the platoon in place, which worked well for both players last year. They don’t need a superstar, nor do they specifically need a CF as Harris can play center. What they will need is someone who can hit them 20+ HRs & 80+ RBIs while hitting for a respectable average (OBP would be optional at this point). Maybe a free agent OF like either Darin Erstad or Geoff Jenkins could possibly fit that description (that is if Erstad can stay healthy for a whole year).
|NAME||POS||Alt Pos||AVG||OBP||2B||3B||R||HR||RBI||SB||VORP||5X5 Totals|
*Denotes player as a rookie in 2007
**Check back for part two of this analysis as well as the answer to our trivia question from the other day**