Michael Harris II - Center Field
The former NL Rookie of the Year has had an amazing start to his career. Last year MH2 was pretty much entrenched in the ninth spot in the order for the majority of the season. However, Harris is too talented to remain there for much longer. That thinking warrants moving Harris II up to the seventh spot. Still not a ton of pressure on MH2’s shoulders but now it would present him more opportunities to drive in runs which he has the ability to do.
Ultimately, the bottom half of the lineup will fluctuate based on who’s hot and cold though. Given MH2’s steady improvement and abundance of talent m, I expect him to move up in this Braves lineup.
Sean Murphy - Catcher
New backstop Sean Murphy had a tale of two halves in his first year as a Brave. In the first half, he looked like an MVP candidate, in the second half he wore down a little. Some of that may have been due to a slight hamstring strain and regularly catching games in the Atlanta heat for the first time in his big league career.
In 2024 Murphy will come into the year expected to continue his plus defensive ways, and the offensive production will pretty much be gravy on top. That said, we saw how capable Sean is at the plate in the first half when he looked like an MVP candidate. If we get more of that, Murphy can slot as high as fifth in the lineup.
Orlando Arcia - Shortstop
It was hard not to flirt with the idea of upgrading the shortstop position considering the second half we saw the true Orlando Arcia. Imagining someone like Willy Adames who is a plus defender and has that 82nd percentile Barrel% to pair is enticing.
However, Arcia is a great defender and not a total zero at the plate; That along with the very low AAV $2.4 million through 2025 at least is enough to keep Arcia in Atlanta hitting in the most low-pressure spot in the Braves' dream lineup.