The Braves have not made the playoffs since the 2013 season and in that span they have had a losing record every time. They finished last season with 93 losses and finished dead last in the NL East. However, while under .500 this season they have shown big strides and while they won’t make the playoffs this season the future is bright for the club. This season they are only three games under .500 and while they are 9.5 games back of the division-leading Washington Nationals they are in 2nd place in the division. Not bad for a squad that had the 2nd most losses in the NL last season. The Braves will be back and it will be sooner rather than later.
After the Braves won two of three games from the Nationals in the middle of the June they have been one of the better clubs in baseball. The post-season is not in the cards this year, but it is for the next few and fans in Atlanta will be back where they are used to seeing their team, which is in the playoffs.
Many young guns
Atlanta’s issue this season has been on the mound where they only rank 23rd in the Majors in team ERA. However, they got rid of Bartolo Colon, who had an ERA of 8.14, and they have some solid young arms in the rotation in Mike Foltynewicz and Julio Teheran, and their farm system is a good one. According to MLB.com on the list of the top 100 minor league prospects, the Braves have six pitchers on it. They may grow even stronger, as the team may deal Matt Kamp for prospects. The Braves signed 42-year-old R.A. Dickey to a one-year contract and I don’t expect the team to re-sign him even though he has been OK. The Braves have a lot of good young arms on the big club and in the Minors, they will build their young staff, which will be good for years to come.
Could use some pop, but the bats are there
The Braves rank 17th in the Majors in runs scored and while they lack pop they have the bats and rank 7th in team batting average. Freddie Freeman is back from injury and Matt Adams has been great since coming over from St. Louis to replace him. Ender Inciarte is hitting over .300 and Nick Markakis leads the team with 48 RBI and is hitting a legit .284. Yeah, the team should trade Kemp even though he has had a good season batting .293 with 12 HR and 40 RBI. Some team will need his bat in the stretch run, especially an AL team that uses the DH. Atlanta also has three position players in the top 100 of the MLB.com top 100 prospects list led by the highly regarded infield duo of Ozzie Albies (#7) and Kevin Maitan (#24). Freeman is a star in the making and the lineup has the pieces to be a good one for a while.
Atlanta has been down and out for a few seasons and this one is not a fluke, as they have exceeded expectations. They have some good young arms, some trade bait, a possible star in Freeman, and great prospects. The Braves future is bright and that future is not far off.