5 Braves players that could take a step back in 2024

Father time is undefeated and amongst other reasons, there are Braves players with potential to take a step back in 2024.

Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two / Matthew Grimes Jr./Atlanta Braves/GettyImages
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Travis d'Arnaud

Travis d'Arnaud
Division Series - Philadelphia Phillies v Atlanta Braves - Game Two / Kevin D. Liles/Atlanta Braves/GettyImages

No matter what Travis d'Arnaud does in the rest of his career with the Bravos, he will be remembered fondly throughout Braves country. Hitting a home run in the World Series will do that for you.

But after an all-star 2022, the only selection of his career, he regressed massively in 2023, with his plate appearances being slashed almost in half amidst the arrival of Sean Murphy from Oakland.

Credit to the Braves front office for getting Murphy. I loved Murphy as a player, but I did question why they needed another catcher of that caliber with d'Arnaud back from an all-star season. They obviously saw something and in his age-34 season, he hit just .225 with a .685 OPS, an 83 WRC+ and a -7.2 offensive WAR.

I still think the Braves need him on this roster and he's still a solid platoon option that has proven he has the clutch gene. I just think that we could see Murphy get even more at-bats this year and d'Arnaud's at-bats continue to decline.

Ronald Acuña Jr.

Ronald Acuna Jr.
Division Series - Atlanta Braves v Philadelphia Phillies - Game Four / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Okay I need to make a disclaimer before I get into this.

I do not think Ronald Acuña is going to have a bad season. Not in the slightest. I think he very well could win MVP again. And I hope he somehow finds a way to improve on last year.

But just looking at the numbers, I don't see how anyone can lean towards actually believing that. The man had a 1.012 OPS, a .337 batting average, led MLB with 149 runs while also getting 106 RBIs from the leadoff spot. Oh, and stole 73 bases, hit 41 home runs and walked the most of any year in his career (80). Light work.

I'd love for him to improve on those numbers. Because that almost guarantees him back-to-back MVPs. But I also think it's okay to think that he might not reach those high of numbers in 2024.

Barring injury though, you can book him for a +.300 average and +.900 OPS which would by definition be a regression. Yeah Braves fans, that's the guy you get to watch lead off every night. You could do a lot worse than that.

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