Atlanta Braves: A deeper look at 3 positive takes from 2019
With all the negative takes after the playoff loss, now there are some positive takes too that have been floating out there in Atlanta Braves land.
There are Atlanta Braves fans out there that aren’t completely dejected. If you want to heal, read some of these takes to make your day better – be like Johan Camargo and throw some water on that face and be refreshed.
This list is all about giving you things to be optimistic about for the 2020 season, because remember, you’re a fan of an excellent franchise, the Atlanta Braves, and there are more reasons to be excited than there are to be bummed.
There’s Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Freddie’s surgically repaired elbow and so, so much more.
But if you still want to be pessimistic, we have 3 negative takes as well.
Acuna, Ozzie are top 1-2 punch in MLB
When one considers the Atlanta Braves for the next 7-10 seasons, the only names signed for that long are Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies.
With that being said, who’s NOT excited? Who can’t look at the bright side for just a moment and realize that we have one of the best offensive 1-2 punches in all of baseball and will continue to have both of these players?
Timely hitting. Power. Speed. This duo has it all. Since Acuna Jr. gets his share of the press (as he should) let’s first dive into Ozzie Albies.
The Curacao native is making Andruw Jones proud. Though small in stature (maybe 5-foot-8, maybe 165 pounds) Albies has shown an affinity for hitting for power since his 2017 call-up.
During his first full season in 2018, he was an All-Star, hitting 40 doubles and 24 home runs. That was driven by a first half where he was on fire, then a second half where fans wondered where all the hitting went.
In 2019, he doubled 43 times and hit 24 more home runs, but raised his batting average from .261 to. 295 and led the National League in hits with 189.
When you maintain your power numbers while raising your batting average, you’re doing something right.
Let’s not forget hitting coach Kevin Seitzer, who had the offense rolling most of the season.
Perhaps most importantly, Albies turned up his defense a few notches. He’s a legitimate Gold Glove contender at second base, and that’s the position he was moved to in order to accommodate the coming of himself and Dansby Swanson to the Atlanta Braves lineup.
Albies committed the fewest errors in the league, along with Jason Kipnis of the Cleveland Indians. Both second-sackers made just four on the season.
He also started the most games (157) and logged the most innings at the position (1,405). According to Fangraphs, he ranked in the top 5 among second basemen in almost every advanced defensive stat.
Ozzie occupied the number two spot behind Ronald Acuna Jr. who nearly became the fifth player and arguably, the only steroid-free player, to reach the 40-40 plateau.
A groin injury sidelined him the last week of the season and cut his pursuit short.
Acuna Jr. ended up leading the National League in runs scored (127) and stolen bases (37) while socking 41 home runs, driving in 101 runs, and hitting .280, digressing a wee bit in terms of contact, striking out 188 times.
There’s not much else to say about that when you have Acuna and Albies headlining your lineup, besides that oh, you have Freddie Freeman behind them.
Depending on what happens with Josh Donaldson, we could replicate a crazy top four in the line-up in 2020. The bottom half will need some work.