Which Atlanta Braves player will provide the most value off the bench in 2024?

Having depth is vital over the course of a 162 game regular season. Which player steps up for Atlanta and provides value off the bench?

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Detroit Tigers v Los Angeles Angels / John McCoy/GettyImages
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MLB's regular season is a marathon unlike any other sport. 162 games, most of which during the calendar year's hottest months, takes a toll on even the most superb of athletes. It really is a war of attrition. For all 30 Major League teams, finding contributions from the non-starters on the team will go a long way toward getting them into postseason play.

Although the Braves are known for their "play every single day" style of baseball with their position players, they too can benefit from a talented bench. So, which player steps up and helps Atlanta win games next year? They have plenty of options, so let's weigh a few of them and see if we can come to a conclusion.

Let's get the obvious out of the way

Before we proceed any further we have to set some ground rules for this article. While, we are technically debating which player will provide the most value off the bench, one guy has a clear path to accomplishing that.

I'm talking of course about backup catcher Travis d'Arnaud. Each team has their backup catcher see plenty of time, and given Travis is still a pretty good player Atlanta will be giving him plenty of playing time. He appeared in 74 games last year and posted a 0.9 fWAR, so I'd expect more of the same in 2024.

What platoons?

If we were searching for another obvious path for bench production on a team, typically you would turn toward positional platoons. Last year, the Braves had one in left field between Eddie Rosario and Kevin Pillar. The latter had some nice moments, won them some games with a couple clutch hits, and spelled Eddie for defense.

However, as fondly as we remember Pillar's good moments last season, he ended up posting just a 0.1 fWAR and 71 wRC+ in 81 games played. Given that platoon was only enough to get Pillar in exactly half of the games last year, where will the playing time be for the bench guys this year?

The simple answer is, there won't be. Anthopoulos has already stated new left fielder Jarred Kelenic will be an everyday player. If a serious right-handed outfielder were on the roster today, you could talk yourself into picking them to contribute because playing time could theoretically be there against lefties if Kelenic were to struggle. However, the Braves don't appear to be constructing their bench with Kelenic sitting against lefties in mind, so a player like Jordan Luplow isn't a great choice either.

We have to think differently here. Forrest Wall as a stolen base threat off the bench? I don't think Snit will be managing the regular season super aggressively often, so I think Wall's usage won't be enough to make him the choice. As the roster sits today, this brings us to a couple of versatile guys that are our only options left.

Choose your backup infielder

That being former Met Luis Guillorme, and former Angel David Fletcher. Guillorme gave a lot of good AB's in his early Met years, but last season he posted just a 70 wRC+ and had a -0.3 fWAR. Thus, leaving us with the one bench guy who may be able to provide a spark for the Braves in 2024, David Fletcher.

First of all, Fletcher is making real money ($6 million which is more than Arcia, and just one million off of Ozzie) for a bench guy so giving him opportunities makes sense that way you can get value in what you're paying for. Secondly, Fletcher does actually have some tools that can help Atlanta win next year.

His best attribute is his bat to ball skills, With a career 9.5 K%, Fletcher will at the very least put the ball in play should he be forced into the Braves' lineup at any point this season. He get's to some pitches that he has no business getting to, like this one below.

The other thing is, and probably most important for any bench player, he shouldn't hurt you defensively. He can play multiple positions, and all of them with reasonably solid defense. He has a career 14 outs above average (OAA), and 6.4 UZR.

The bench isn't going to be leaned on a ton thanks to the talented players Atlanta has to pencil in the lineup most days. However, on the days that they do give a guy a breather, Fletcher seems to be the most likely to step up and contribute. We still have a plenty of time before opening day so most valuable bench player we're speculating about could very well not even be on the roster yet.

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