A few minutes ago I was checking up on Atlanta’s young studs in the Arizona Fall League.
Pitching wise they have been doing excellent. The only run allowed by the 3 pitchers was by Stephen Marek. That run also happened to be unearned.
I checked in on Van Pope and saw his power numbers are still low, but that can change. Next I checked in on the budding star Tyler Flowers.
In 39 at bats he has 11 runs scored, 16 hits, 3 doubles, 2 triples, 5 home runs, and 8 runs batted in. Pretty impressive huh? As I go along the stat line I find my way to strikeouts. Whoops. 12 K’s in 39 at bats. We have a problem my friends.
That comes out to an average of a 30% strikeout rate. As in 3 times per 10 at bats. That is not very good. Already he is showing signs of becoming a Ryan Howard type player. Not in the sense of hitting baseballs that have changed area codes. But in the sense of racking up strikeouts. Already he has about as many K’s as Peyton Manning has commercials. That is not good.
I know, I know, he is young, things can change. But before we go saying how amazing he is we need to take everything into consideration. This could be either a lack of experience or a sign of things to come. Hopefully it isn’t the later of the two.
It is time for me to make some bold predictions about Atlanta’s roster next year.
1. CF Josh Anderson/Jordan Schafer
2. SS Yunel Escobar*
3. 3B Chipper Jones
4. C Brian McCann
5. LF Rocco Baldelli/Delmon Young
6. 1B Casey Kotchman
7. RF Jeff Francoeur
8. 2B Kelly Johnson
9. SP see available starters below
*I could easily see Baldelli/Young moving up to the 2 spot and Escobar dropping down to 7 and having Kotchman and Francoeur move up to 5 and 6.
1. Martin Prado
2. Omar Infante
3. Greg Norton
4. Ruben Gotay
1. Jake Peavy
2. Jon Garland
3. Jair Jurrjens
4. Jorge Campillo/Tim Hudson when healthy will switch to the 2nd starter
5. Tommy Hanson
Setup man 1. Soriano
Setup man 2. Moylan
Setup man 3. MAYBE Smoltz
Closer: Mike Gonzalez
This is what I think Atlanta will look like next year. Not eye popping or anything, but a strong lineup nonetheless. Atlanta will be carried by a strong rotation and bullpen. They will produce runs with speed at the top and good but not great power in the middle. Sorry if you are upset that Francoeur is batting 7th, get over it. He actually deserves to bat 8th but I really like him.
Well, that’s my team for next year. Share your thoughts and comment away.
Once again the answer is baseball, that’s who.
I’m bring this subject back up because, well, its controversial.
I am 100% for baseball installing some type of salary cap. I think that the fans of smaller market teams will agree with me on this. Not only is baseball behind on the instant replay idea, they are on the money idea.
Baseball is a sport in which the team with the most money signs the best players. What ever happened to scouting, developing, and utilizing players? Those days are almost long gone. Now a team either signs a free agent or trades away their prospects for a home run slugger or ace starting pitcher.
I happen to be an Atlanta Braves fan. Atlanta’s salary cap was about 105 million last year. The Yankees’ salary was about 210 million. That is twice as much as Atlanta was able to spend. How is that in anyway fair? I don’t think it is.
If anyone thinks that I am bias because my team can’t spend so much you are wrong. My favorite NFL team is the Pittsburgh Steelers. They are the 1st or 2nd richest team in all of football. They could spend so much more money then they do, but there is a salary cap. I still support the idea 100%.
Winning a championship should be decided by talent, not how many big players you can sign in the off season. It is just not fair that the Yankees, Red Sox, Cubs, and Dodgers can buy whoever they want.
I bring this up because I recently heard about a Yankees projected lineup next year. It included the signings of C.C. Sabathia, A.J. Burnett, Ben Sheets, and Mark Teixeira. I doubt this would happen but the scary thing is that its possible. They could do this and it would not be fair to any of the other teams. New York gets all those great players while the Twins, Rays, and Marlins scrap the bottom of the free agent barrel for washed up vets who are one fall away from a hip replacement.
Please Bud Selig, do something. Don’t let this madness continue. In all honesty, if you don’t change it, then baseball needs someone who will. It is the right thing.
I have become very frustrated by the fact that people do not consider the other half of the trade, the Padres.
Fellow Braves fans, if you want someone good, you need to give up someone good. It really is that simple. No illusions or tricks, value gets value. Crap does not get you value. Unless you are the Yankees and somehow give up nothing for the best players every year. (GM’s on the Yankees payroll?) Who knows. It wouldn’t be the first time.
I would like to clear something up. The Padres want 2 starting pitchers and 1 major league ready outfielder. Relievers don’t count as starters so stop trying to include them. Jo-Jo Reyes has zero value, stop trying to include him because you don’t like him.
As for the outfielders, Josh Anderson, Gregor Blanco, Gorkys Hernandez, Jordan Schafer, and Jason Heyward are the possibilities. One needs to go if you want Peavy, get over it. The only reason the Padres want Yunel Escobar is it is their attempt to dump Khalil Green’s salary. Replacing Escobar with Brent Lillibridge will not get it done. Escobar is better, hands down, no contest.
This continues to the fact that Martin Prado and Kelly Johnson may be included in the deal. San Diego could move one over to shortstop. That one would be Kelly Johnson as he came up as a shortstop. I don’t think Prado has the range to play shortstop so I doubt San Diego does either.
San Diego may want Tyler Flowers, but I doubt it. There hasn’t been any official talk about so I don’t think they want him.
Finally! Please think things through! Before you go saying your trade think to yourself, “would I make that trade?” If you say no, then the Padres won’t do it either as they have more knowledge about these players than any one of us fans. The trade HAS to be fair for BOTH teams. Giving up mediocre players will NOT get you Jake Peavy. So please, just stop it.
I would like to shed some light on some realistic, and some plain crazy ideas that have been floating around the Atlanta Braves site.
First off, the Peavy trade. People say “trade Jo-Jo Reyes, Scott Thorman, Kelly Johnson, and Chuck James”. You need value to get value. You cannot keep saying to trade the players you don’t like for an ace. If you don’t like them because they aren’t good what makes you think San Diego will like them? They won’t. If you want quality players you have to give up quality players. Both sides will be hurt at first but it should even out if it is a fair trade. Atlanta will have to give up a potentially great player for Peavy, get over it.
People say start Jordan Schafer he is amazing. He has done well in a few Mexican League games. He has not even made it to AAA yet so why should he be the starter for Atlanta. If he proves it then yea, he should start. The best player should start regardless. He is not going to be handed the job like many of you want. Josh Anderson and Gregor Blanco have much more experience and at this point deserve it more than he does.
Something that has been bothering me is that people want Edger Renteria and Rafael Furcal back. Edger Renteria is 33 and has slowed down. He was great with Atlanta, but the guy is going to hit into more double plays than Manny Ramirez when he doesn’t get his contract. Not to mention that he cant get to as many balls anymore. He was great, but bringing back a over the hill shortstop will not help Atlanta. As for Furcal, he isn’t exactly young anymore. Also he is going to want at least 10 million which Atlanta can spend elsewhere.
Finally about the left field situation. PAT BURRELL AND ADAM DUNN WILL CAUSE NOTHING BUT TROUBLE. Both are strikeout prone. They are all or nothing players, everyone knows this. You would be adding at least 130 strikeouts to a lineup that has 2 players that struck out over 100 times last year and 1 that had 99. They will kill rallies in between the occasional double or home run. They will not be worth the trouble. If you disagree, convince Frank Wren to sign one of them and we will see who is right at the All-Star break. Matt Holliday or Jason Bay would be so much better it is almost not fair.
I just watched a program on ESPN about a campaign to retire the #21 throughout baseball. This would be in honor of Roberto Clemente. He was a great player and an amazing person. I think he deserves it.
The only problem is if this goes through then all the Babe Ruth lovers will come complaining and saying how he is the best ever and want #3 retired. He was a great player on the field, but Ruth did nothing off the field. That is what separates him from Robinson and Clemente.
If anyone else besides Robinson and Clemente deserve it, it is Hank Aaron.
Well it looks like the World Series is going to be a good one. Both teams look about evenly matched so this should go at least 6 games.
There has been great starting pitching in both games which is refreshing as the playoffs have turned into more of a slug fest. Both teams could definitely slug it out with anyone, but I think pitching will decide this series.
Tampa Bay by far has the deeper starting pitching while Philly has the advantage in the bullpen. If Tampa wants to win, Brad Lidge cannot enter the game. But if Philly wants to win, they have to score enough runs. Rollins and Howard have both been slumping badly, which doesn’t make things look to good.
Philly fans should be praying to the ran gods for a rain out so Hamels can come back as soon as possible. When Hamels isn’t pitching the Philly starters are more than just vulnerable. Brett Myers has zero constancy and Jamie Moyer is asking to be lit up. We will see how it goes as the series travels to Philly tonight.
Well almost every Braves fan has heard the rumors about Jake Peavy coming to Atlanta. Let’s start praying because imagine the rotation, Peavy, Jurrjens, and Hudson. Maybe add Smoltz and Glavine in there.
Atlanta also has some cash left over, maybe A.J. Burnett or Derek Lowe? That would be an incredible rotation. Best in the NL hands down, no contest.
I however think that Atlanta cannot trade away their biggest prospects. Everyone says they need a power hitting left fielder. What about Jason Heyward? He is in the system and apparently murders the ball. Give him a shot in spring training at least.
As the days pass I hate the Teixeira deal more and more. I don’t think Kotchman is the player the Braves want. Definitely give Freddie Freeman and Tyler Flowers a shot at first base in spring training.
Just to get something off my chest. People keep saying that Freeman, Flowers, Heyward, and Schafer need to develop more. Well do you know how players get better? THEY PLAY. Even if it is just a shot in spring training. It could do wonders for them. And for the people that say well it could seriously hurt them. Remember Rafael Furcal? He went from A to Rookie of the Year in 1 season. Last time I checked he was doing just fine.
Looks pretty good Braves fans.
I think we can all admit that this year was well.. pathetic. The only real bright spot was Chipper getting the batting title.
think this is one of those years where the team is really bad and has a
break out year the next. If you look at what they can do in the off
season and what they have now, it looks good, really good.
the off season. I honestly don’t think they will get ever close to
getting C.C. Sabathia. They have the money to get him, but only him.
They have other needs besides a starting pitcher. I think Jon Garland
would be a nice fit. He eats innings and that is important for a very
Derek Lowe would be a nice addition also. Jair
Jurrjens I believe is here to stay. He is the real deal. He pitched
great this year before he got tired at the end. A little conditioning
in the off season will fix that real quick. On the other hand Charlie
Morton has a ton of potential when you take into consideration he
played most of the season hurt. Then you have Jo-Jo Reyes. We should
start a campaign No-Mo Reyes. Jo-Jo Reyes should be shipped out. He has
had more opportunities than he deserves. If you can’t improve after 2
years then you don’t deserve a spot. I would rather see Thomas Hanson
thrown into the fire of the MLB early than watch Jo-Jo be embarrassed
by mediocre teams again.
When it comes to the position players
Atlanta is solid at almost all of them. Chipper has a few years left
and Escobar will be healthy. Once Casey Kotchman gets comfortable he
can do some damage, though I would like to see some more power. Your
first baseman shouldn’t be out slugged by a second baseman that hits
for contact(Kelly Johnson).
Johnson and Martin Prado could
both be dangled out on the trade market to try to fit some of their
needs. Although I don’t think the Braves need a power hitting left
fielder. They already have Jason Heyward in the minors. Why not use
him. I read great things about how he is like Ryan Howard but more
athletic. Prove it. The worst that can happen is he does terrible which
is basically what they got last year. Francoeur should be back to form
slugging homers and driving in runs. He sprinted into a mental brick
wall this year. He didn’t run into one, he sprinted into it. Full tilt,
head on. It got to the point where I almost hurt someone because he
struck out with the bases loaded.. for the third time that game.
a good note I love how center field is up for grabs. Gregor Blanco,
Josh Anderson, and Jordan Schafer can battle for it. Whoever wins can
start, you have 1 backup and you can trade the other. Brandon Jones
could also be used as trade bait if needed. Brent Lillibridge I think
has been a complete bust. The kid can play some D but he cannot hit to
save his life. He is like Tony Pena Jr.,you can’t get the ball past him
on defense but he can’t hit.
I was all for the Lillibridge and
B. Jones for Jason Bay trade. I would love to see him come to Atlanta
but once again a noisy owner stepped in and messed it all up. I hate
guys like that, yes Hank Steinbrenner, I’m talking to you. Shut up and
let the guys play. It got old really quick.
I forgot to mention
that Brian McCann guy the Braves have. He isn’t bad either. He is only
on pace to be just as good as two of the greatest backstops to ever
play the game. Did I mention he is only like 24? It looks good for the
boys in Atlanta next year. Before they can get to spring training,
SPEND SOME MONEY. For once maybe a big time free agent will come
Atlanta’s way. Maybe.
Well it looks like I was 1 for 4 in my playoff predictions. The only series I got right was the Tampa-Chicago series. The Angels lost to the Red Sox and proved me wrong…again.
It turned out that the Red Sox were a little better than I thought and made the Angels look bad. It happens. Tampa played just the way I thought they would and took it to the White Sox. The Red Sox are on a roll and the Rays are just to young. In all honesty I really want the Rays to win. They deserve it. I just really don’t think they are a better team than the Red Sox.
They may have had a better record but I just don’t think that when the occasion arises that they will step up. Boston just has to much talent and experience. Tampa has so much talent its not fair but they have no experience.
Tampa has home field advantage so I think they will win at least 2 games. Even with home field advantage I doubt that the Rays will be able to beat Boston when it counts. The Rays are the feel good story of the year but they just don’t have the experience needed to succeed this far into the season. Next year looks good if they can keep the team together or add a piece.
As much as I like the Rays, Boston is just to good and will win this series. It will be a Boston-Los Angeles World Series this year. Yes, Manny will return to Boston but as a Dodger.