Braves connected to former top Yankees prospect in the middle of career turnaround

Atlanta can probably do better than this outfielder ahead of the trade deadline...we hope.

Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics
Minnesota Twins v Oakland Athletics / Thearon W. Henderson/GettyImages

The Atlanta Braves' outfield situation has been precarious for a little while now despite being a strength of the roster to start the season. Defending NL MVP Ronald Acuna Jr. is out for the season after needing knee surgery and Michael Harris II hurt his hamstring and while he is hitting and throwing, he has yet to be cleared to start running again. Those are two very important parts of the Braves' lineup to be without.

Complicating matters is that the Braves haven't been able to fully replace them internally, at least successfully. Jarred Kelenic playing everyday has turned out to be a great change for him, but the same cannot be said for Adam Duvall who has been a shadow of his former self and is nearly an automatic out against right-handed pitchers.

As a result, there has been more and more buzz that the Braves could add an outfielder at the trade deadline. Names like Taylor Ward and Brent Rooker have popped up which would make some sense and the optimists out there hold out hope that Alex Anthopoulos could pry Randy Arozarena away from the Rays and fix him. However, Bleacher Report threw together some Braves trade targets and one name that is new and somewhat interesting is Oakland outfielder Miguel Andujar.

Miguel Andujar is an interesting Braves trade target, but he might be fool's gold

It wasn't that long ago that Andujar was one of the hot young names in the sport of baseball given his start with the Yankees. He finished second in the 2018 AL Rookie of the Year voting with an .855 OPS and 27 homers. However, his defense was VERY suspect and big league pitchers figured him out after that and he faded out of the picture.

However, Andujar seems to have found some life after signing a one year deal with Oakland last offseason. Through 30 games this season, Andujar has a .317/.346/.417 line with a couple homers and he has been particularly good against lefties. On the surface, those numbers look great and certainly have been better than what Duvall has been putting up. He is also on a one year deal, so he would likely be cheap to acquire.

The problem is that there is a lot of evidence to suggest that Andujar has gotten a bit lucky and is extremely likely to regress going forward. His xwOBA, xSLG, average exit velocity, barrel %, and hard hit % all grade out poorly and almost 60% of the balls he has put in play have been ground balls. While he has been great at limiting strikeouts, the rest of his batted ball profile does not look good and given his track record in the majors, he is going to come back to earth soon. Combine that with his still less-than-good defense and you have a guy that the Braves may want to avoid.

Still, it is becoming clear that the Braves may need to find another outfielder ahead of the deadline. Harris is going to return relatively soon and that will help a ton, but getting consistent production from that third outfield spot is quickly becoming a priority.

More Braves News from House That Hank Built