From the years 1991 through 2005, the Atlanta Braves were crowned division champions. Whether it was in the NL West or the NL East, the Braves came out on top 14 consecutive seasons.
After stealing their 80th win of the season in dramatic fashion on Saturday night, Atlanta is well on their way to win their sixth NL East title in a row dating back to 2018. Is it too early to wonder if history can repeat itself? What players on the current roster will still be around to chase this ridiculous feat?
Over the last six seasons, the Braves organization has been a gold mine for talented young prospects. The farm systeem has weakend immensley but that is due to the fact those prospects have turned into major contributors with the big league ball club. Ronald Acuna Jr., Ozzie Albies, Austin Riley, Michael Harris II and Spencer Strider were all either drafted by the Atlanta Braves or signed internationally and blew through the minors to get where they are today.
Acuna is potentially the front runner for NL MVP this season. Ozzie Albies who is currently injured appeared in his third All-Star Game in his 7th season. Austin Riley has had MVP caliber years and could easily hit 50 homers in a season if he gets hot. Michael Harris II won NL Rookie of the Year in 2022. Spencer Strider is leading the MLB in strikeouts behind his 14-4 record and 3.57 ERA.
Matt Olson has not completed two full seasons as an Atlanta Braves but has already blasted 77 homeruns, drove in 211 runs and had an all-star selection in just 284 games. Sean Murphy is in his first season with Atlanta. He has already had the best season of his career, making the all-star game and breaking his career high in homeruns. Both Murphy and Olson came from the Oakland A's organization, Olson via trade in 2022, and Murphy by trade this past offseason.
If you have followed this 2023 Braves team, you are well aware that every name mentioned to this point has been a key contributor to Atlanta's success. All of these players have something in common. They aren't going anywhere anytime soon. Below is listed the year that each one of them will become free agents.
Ronald Acuna Jr.: 2029
Ozzie Albies: 2028
Austin Riley: 2034
Michael Harris II: 2033
Spencer Strider: 2030
Matt Olson: 2031
Sean Murphy: 2030
Historically, the Atlanta Braves organization is known for pitching. It is difficult to talk about those 14 straight division titles without mentioning the iconic pitching rotation of John Smoltz, Greg Maddux and Tom Glavine.
This team has more than enough potnetial to win 14 or more consecutive division championships but they will have to do it differently. Looking at the list of these players, there is only one starting pitcher. However, this offense can explode for double digit runs any given night.
Most people would argue that a team cannot rely on outscoring their opponents but most teams do not have the star power this Atlanta team does in spots 1-9. When there are that many strong hitters in the lineup, the leadoff and cleanup could go 0-4 but the 7th man in the order pick them up with two dingers.
They may not be quite halfway to 14 straight NL East titles but the core of this team is going to be together more than long enough to potentially build a dynasty.