Atlanta Braves’ smallest player about to hit a big milestone

Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies hits a double. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports
Atlanta Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies hits a double. Mandatory Credit: Rick Scuteri-USA TODAY Sports /

It isn’t that rare of an accomplishment overall, but the Atlanta Braves’ second baseman is showing off an awesome display of offense in 2021.

It’s a set of numbers that you’d expect from perhaps the biggest hitters in the game.  Yet, for the Atlanta Braves, he’s the smallest in stature.

At 5’8″, a casual glance at Ozzie Albies doesn’t make you think “slugger”, and neither does his .800 OPS or 107 wRC+ (runs created) scores scream “run producer”, but there’s something more about this kid (he’s not even 25 years old yet) than those numbers suggest.

Albies is about to hit an interesting set of milestones, and he only needs to score 1 more run to join this club.  He currently has:

  • 30 homers
  • 37 doubles
  • 103 RBI
  • 99 runs scored

When he does score that next run — when seems inevitable — Albies will become the 376th major league player to join this 30/30/100/100 club.

That’s actually selling it a bit short, though, for there are a few dozen players that did this multiple times…

  • Albert Pujols – 9 times
  • Chipper Jones – 4 times
  • Hank Aaron – 3 times
  • Paul Goldschmidt – 3 times (and he’s 2 runs away from a 4th such season)
  • Barry Bonds – 7 times
  • Babe Ruth – 6 times

Other Braves that have accomplished this level of offensive prowess (all of them once apiece):

That’s the entire list other than Chipper and Aaron.  So as you can see, it tends to be sluggers that amass these kinds of numbers. You’ll occasionally see a player have a ‘career year’ and reach this level, but that’s more rare.

Then there’s the occasional surprise:  Mike Trout has done this only once (2014).  He’s been close, but the runs and RBI are often not both holding up for him.

The Atlanta Braves spark plug

At the beginning of this season, our Fred Owens opined often that the fate of the Braves could well rest on what Ozzie Abies did at the plate.

While it was hard to imagine that he might reach thirty homers, his offensive contributions are exactly the kind of thing that Fred was thinking:  he’s a catalyst to the team who can…

  • Get on base (.311 pace)
  • Hit for power (.488 slugging)
  • Drive in runs (193 RBI)
  • Steal a base (18 swipes)
  • Beat out an infielder grounder (14 infield hits)

Even with all that, it’s easy to make a case that Albies hasn’t peaked yet — in fact, his batting average is historically low for him (at .258).  Normally he’s a lot closer to .300.

So Albies’ best years may still be in front of him… and that’s going to be fun to watch.

Next. Where there's a Will, there was a way.. dark

Still:  let’s recognize this year’s marks and celebrate them, for Ozzie’s season is definitely noteworthy.