Atlanta Braves: The Impact This Version of Travis Demeritte Could Have on Lineup
The Atlanta Braves have been looking for a spark in the outfield and in the lineup even with the return of Ronald Acuna Jr., and Travis Demeritte could be that guy.
Who knows how long this hot streak will last for Travis Demeritte with the Atlanta Braves. Perhaps it’s just a flash in the pan, but what if this is the real version of Travis Demeritte going forward?
The sample size at the big league level this year is far too small to make any real judgments.
But in just 18 at-bats he has 7 hits, including 2 home runs, an average exit velocity of 93.8 MPH, a barrel% of 23.1, and a HardHit% of 53.8.
Even though his K% is still pretty high at 25, it’s much better than what it was during his time with the Tigers at around 38 percent.
And the BB% is solid at 10 percent.
Braves — What If with Travis Demeritte
Let’s not forget, this guy was a 30th overall pick by the Texas Rangers in 2013 and signed for nearly $2 million because of he’s natural athletic ability — was drafted as a shortstop — and advanced approach at the plate.
The strikeout rate was always something that held him back as even in the lower level of the minors his K% was around 33 percent.
But the power potential has always been there as he has four minor league seasons hitting 20 or more home runs, including 2021 in Gwinnett.
And 2021 is where you really started to see the change in Demeritte’s game as he slashed .282/.363/.575 at Gwinnett. His K% was still high at 33, but he started to change his approach and focused more on hitting his pitch instead of the pitcher’s pitch — essentially being more selective.
He’s brought that approach into 2022, which helped him get off to a hot start at Gwinnett and earned him this opportunity with the Braves.
So what is the ceiling for this version of Demeritte?
He’s been considered a borderline fourth outfielder for several years now, but is certainly starting to change that narrative to show he deserves to play every day.
He’s not going to continue his 455 BABIP or 23.1 barrel percentage.
But I do think he’s capable of slashing .275/.320/.480 with around 20 home runs and 10 stolen bases with a K% of 28 and a BB% of 10 over a full season.
And beyond that, he’s showing he’s more than capable of being an average, or even above-average, defender in the outfield.
He’s already made one great play with his legs running down a ball in foul ground, and he’s shown off his strong arm throwing out a runner at third (hitting Dansby as the relay).
His splits at Gwinnett last year were very different, so there’s also a chance he works into a platoon role with Eddie Rosario once he’s back.
But hopefully he gets a long look as an everyday player until Rosario is back to see if Demeritte can reach that ceiling as a very solid everyday outfielder for the Braves — they might have something special here.