The 2008 Atlanta Braves

March 27, 2008

OK, so I said I was going to give my two cents about this years version of the Atlanta Braves…here we go. Last year, the Braves almost made a last minute run at the division. The trade for Mark Teixeira made it obvious they were trying to make up some ground but, actually came up short.

This off-season marked the departure of longtime centerfielder, Andruw Jones…I say, see ya. I think he will most definitely be missed defensively but I don’t believe it will be that hard to replace his .215 average and 25-30 home runs. It’s not difficult to find a big-leaguer that can hit 25-30 “mistakes from pitchers” in a season. Enter the new centerfielder, Mark Kotsay. Kotsay is a veteran and I think will fit in well in Atlanta. We also saw the departure of Edgar Renteria whom I believe is one of the most complete “professionals” in the game. He was solid, consistent, made every play, throws the ball as hard as he needs to…good ball player. However, he already has a few stickers on his suitcase and I knew he would move on. This allows for youngster Yunel Escobar to play shortstop everyday which will also put second basemen Kelly Johnson in the line-up everyday. I think I am more excited about Johnson playing everyday than Escobar but they will both do well. I love Johnson’s approach at the plate. He gets such a good look at the ball and will be a great leadoff man…look.

kellyjohnson.jpg

In my opinion, he is the best “hitter” on the team. Escobar will still make some mistakes but he is going to wow some people.

So, that brings us to the back-to-back switch hitting power combination of Chipper Jones and Mark Teixeira. As long as Chipper can stay healthy, (and Teixeira too for that matter) this can be a dangerous part of the line-up. And, if they are pitched around, you will then face the natural, the hometown boy, Jeff Francoeur. As I outlined earlier, I am looking for Francoeur to have a break-out MVP type year at the plate. He is on point defensively and has a cannon and you may not can tell on TV but he is a monster. Matt Diaz will be the everyday left-fielder and will also be solid at the plate. He makes contact every time he is at the plate…and he is a seminole.

Brian McCann will serve behind the plate and cater to what should be as good a pitching staff as we have had in a while….Smoltz, Glavine (once again), Hudson and others who need to prove themselves before I mention them in a blog. So, the outlook is good. Division title, yes. League title, perhaps. World Series, oh please let it be!

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2 Responses to “The 2008 Atlanta Braves”

  1. Erik Says:

    See you in the NLCS chump sucka!

    PB&D Hey!


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