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Atlanta Braves 2013 Outlook


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#1 BigPapi44

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:06 PM

Okay, few key moves this off-season, including Upton squared.

What's everyone's take on the projected batting order for this season???

#2 posty

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:20 PM

Well they obviously don't have a lead off hitter, so if they do bat the Upton's 1-2 and Heyward 3, their LOB totals should be down this year...

#3 bravesfan4life

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:37 PM

My projected batting order..

1. Simmons ®
2. Heyward (L)
3. J. Upton ®
4. Freeman (L)
5. BJ Upton ®
6. McCann (L)
7. Uggla ®
8. Johnson/Francisco

I don't see any other combination that works better than this. The Braves have been looking for people to break up their left-handed hitting lineup for a few years now and have finally done it with the Uptons. They lack a true leadoff hitter so Simmons and Heyward (if this is the lineup) will be keys and will have to get on base consistently.

#4 Patrick Bateman

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:43 PM

View Postbravesfan4life, on 24 January 2013 - 02:37 PM, said:

My projected batting order..

1. Simmons ®
2. Heyward (L)
3. J. Upton ®
4. Freeman (L)
5. BJ Upton ®
6. McCann (L)
7. Uggla ®
8. Johnson/Francisco

I don't see any other combination that works better than this. The Braves have been looking for people to break up their left-handed hitting lineup for a few years now and have finally done it with the Uptons. They lack a true leadoff hitter so Simmons and Heyward (if this is the lineup) will be keys and will have to get on base consistently.

I think that makes a lot of sense if Simmons is up to it but if he can't then I would think it would be:

BJ
Heyward
J. Upton
Freeman
McCann
Uggla
Johnson/Francisco
Simmons
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#5 cymbaline

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:46 PM

View Postbravesfan4life, on 24 January 2013 - 02:37 PM, said:

My projected batting order..

1. Simmons ®
2. Heyward (L)
3. J. Upton ®
4. Freeman (L)
5. BJ Upton ®
6. McCann (L)
7. Uggla ®
8. Johnson/Francisco

I don't see any other combination that works better than this. The Braves have been looking for people to break up their left-handed hitting lineup for a few years now and have finally done it with the Uptons. They lack a true leadoff hitter so Simmons and Heyward (if this is the lineup) will be keys and will have to get on base consistently.

That lineup looks good to me and would not be surprised if this is what the Braves use on opening day.

Longer term, Simmons hitting leadoff is a little iffy since it does put a lot of pressure on a young player.  But, as mentioned above, there really isn't any guy suited for the role.  A semi-logical choice, though highly unlikely since it's unconventional, might actually be Uggla as the leadoff man.  He led the league in BB's and his high K totals don't really kill *that* many rallies if he's hitting after the pitcher.

CJohnson hitting 7th or 8th, wow.  That's a scary offense, at least on paper.

#6 bravesfan4life

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:47 PM

View PostPatrick Bateman, on 24 January 2013 - 02:43 PM, said:

View Postbravesfan4life, on 24 January 2013 - 02:37 PM, said:

My projected batting order..

1. Simmons ®
2. Heyward (L)
3. J. Upton ®
4. Freeman (L)
5. BJ Upton ®
6. McCann (L)
7. Uggla ®
8. Johnson/Francisco

I don't see any other combination that works better than this. The Braves have been looking for people to break up their left-handed hitting lineup for a few years now and have finally done it with the Uptons. They lack a true leadoff hitter so Simmons and Heyward (if this is the lineup) will be keys and will have to get on base consistently.

I think that makes a lot of sense if Simmons is up to it but if he can't then I would think it would be:

BJ
Heyward
J. Upton
Freeman
McCann
Uggla
Johnson/Francisco
Simmons

Everything I have heard and read is that the Braves view BJ as a middle of the order type of guy. I would really bet on Simmons leading off at the beginning of the year. BJ may be a 2nd or 3rd option if Simmons cant get the job done.

#7 Stickfig13

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:47 PM

Upton Bros are living off their prospect hype. I get the power/speed #'s, but that whole getting on base thing probably hurts the top of the Braves lineup. BJ hasn't hit over .250 in 5 years! Justin could be a huge score because of his age, but outside of his breakout year in 2011 he has never hit over 30HR or 90RBI.


Good score for the Braves, but I see them living or dying with the Upton Bros ability to live up to hype.

Edited by Stickfig13, 24 January 2013 - 02:49 PM.


#8 valensi24

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 02:49 PM

wow, the braves outfield is amazing Upton/Upton/Heyward. almost on par with the angels outfield of Trout/Hamilton/Bourjos.

#9 Patrick Bateman

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:06 PM

View Postbravesfan4life, on 24 January 2013 - 02:47 PM, said:

View PostPatrick Bateman, on 24 January 2013 - 02:43 PM, said:

View Postbravesfan4life, on 24 January 2013 - 02:37 PM, said:

My projected batting order..

1. Simmons ®
2. Heyward (L)
3. J. Upton ®
4. Freeman (L)
5. BJ Upton ®
6. McCann (L)
7. Uggla ®
8. Johnson/Francisco

I don't see any other combination that works better than this. The Braves have been looking for people to break up their left-handed hitting lineup for a few years now and have finally done it with the Uptons. They lack a true leadoff hitter so Simmons and Heyward (if this is the lineup) will be keys and will have to get on base consistently.

I think that makes a lot of sense if Simmons is up to it but if he can't then I would think it would be:

BJ
Heyward
J. Upton
Freeman
McCann
Uggla
Johnson/Francisco
Simmons

Everything I have heard and read is that the Braves view BJ as a middle of the order type of guy. I would really bet on Simmons leading off at the beginning of the year. BJ may be a 2nd or 3rd option if Simmons cant get the job done.

I'd think 6/7 in the lineup is his optimal spot for BJ (he's just not a very good contact hitter), but if Simmons can't handle the job, then who are you going to put up there?  Prado's loss and his ability to hit in a lot of different spots including leadoff in a pinch will definitely be felt....
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#10 Zumayaaaa

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:17 PM

View PostPatrick Bateman, on 24 January 2013 - 02:43 PM, said:

View Postbravesfan4life, on 24 January 2013 - 02:37 PM, said:

My projected batting order..

1. Simmons ®
2. Heyward (L)
3. J. Upton ®
4. Freeman (L)
5. BJ Upton ®
6. McCann (L)
7. Uggla ®
8. Johnson/Francisco

I don't see any other combination that works better than this. The Braves have been looking for people to break up their left-handed hitting lineup for a few years now and have finally done it with the Uptons. They lack a true leadoff hitter so Simmons and Heyward (if this is the lineup) will be keys and will have to get on base consistently.

I think that makes a lot of sense if Simmons is up to it but if he can't then I would think it would be:

BJ
Heyward
J. Upton
Freeman
McCann
Uggla
Johnson/Francisco
Simmons

I just posted this same lineup in the J Upton thread.

#11 Stickfig13

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:19 PM

View Postvalensi24, on 24 January 2013 - 02:49 PM, said:

wow, the braves outfield is amazing Upton/Upton/Heyward. almost on par with the angels outfield of Trout/Hamilton/Bourjos.

Not yet

Career AVG (162 games):

AVG/HR/RBI/SB/OPS

Trout: .306/32/90/48SB OPS .911
Hamilton: .304/35/122 OPS .913
Bourjos: .247/11/42/19SB OPS .703

BJ: .252/20/75/39SB .758
Justin: .278/24/80/18SB .832
Heyward: .261/22/74/16SB .799


BJ, Justin, Heyward might turn out to be elite, but their numbers aren't. Trout and Hamilton are truly elite (When Healthy)

I don't know. I just can't get past the fact that the Upton bros hit sub .280 every year.

#12 Zumayaaaa

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:22 PM

Posted this in the J Upton thread but probably belongs here.


BJ Upton 5.01
Heyward 5.80
J Upton 6.11
Freeman 5.38
McCann 4.79
Uggla  4.47
Francisco 4.27 / Johnson 4.28
Simmons 3.87

That's a RC/G of 4.96 per game adding 2.00 RC/G for a pitcher (just a guess) puts them at 4.63 per game. National league average was 4.21 last season, Milwaukee was the best at 4.79 but Miller Park has a lot to do with that.

Either way its a pretty solid lineup with very few easy outs. Lots of power and lots of guys that will work a count, and the core 3 are 23, 23, and 25 years old.

Edited by Zumayaaaa, 24 January 2013 - 03:22 PM.


#13 Stickfig13

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:29 PM

View PostZumayaaaa, on 24 January 2013 - 03:22 PM, said:

Posted this in the J Upton thread but probably belongs here.


BJ Upton 5.01
Heyward 5.80
J Upton 6.11
Freeman 5.38
McCann 4.79
Uggla  4.47
Francisco 4.27 / Johnson 4.28
Simmons 3.87

That's a RC/G of 4.96 per game adding 2.00 RC/G for a pitcher (just a guess) puts them at 4.63 per game. National league average was 4.21 last season, Milwaukee was the best at 4.79 but Miller Park has a lot to do with that.

Either way its a pretty solid lineup with very few easy outs. Lots of power and lots of guys that will work a count, and the core 3 are 23, 23, and 25 years old.


Looking at that lineup I see a lot of K's and and .260 average.

#14 posty

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:52 PM

View Postvalensi24, on 24 January 2013 - 02:49 PM, said:

Upton/Upton/Heyward

If they stay healthy all year, they will have at least 460 strikeouts between them...

#15 Stickfig13

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 03:55 PM

View Postposty, on 24 January 2013 - 03:52 PM, said:

View Postvalensi24, on 24 January 2013 - 02:49 PM, said:

Upton/Upton/Heyward

If they stay healthy all year, they will have at least 460 strikeouts between them...

THIS

#16 RotoRaysfan

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:25 PM

Re: Uptons - let's be clear - the 2 brothers are not the same offensively.  BJ is what he is - a high K, .250-ish hitter who is very patient, will see a LOT of pitches, and offer fantastic range and great routes in CF.  he has dogged it in the past, and rightfully drawn the ire of fans & owners alike (although last year he was well-behaved).  Wheile he will always K a ton, he will take walks & offers 50+ SB skills.  

J-Up offers the much higher skill set - power/speed/avg. - less SB but way more HR / .avg and a better contact profile.  The 30/30 talk fits him better in ATL.  The D is a bigger issue because he misjudged ball routes - which is why I think J-Hey stays in RF (but it really is a flip of the coin).  Unlike BJ, he has always been the consummate pro & never dogged it or made public complaints - hopefully that will rub off on BJ.  

Add in that Heyward is even younger and thus has even more room to grow, the K's will be there for sure - but while BJ is capped in terms of .avg/K reduction, J-Up & Heyward offer the real hope these will continue to improve.  

And, under the angle that TB likes to address - run prevention - there is no denying the OF D will be awesome with health - all 3 can cover a ton of ground, have strong arms and BJ/Heyward take great paths to the ball.

It's easy to look at weaknesses - there are rarely any complete packages.  But the Braves improved their O AND their D - the cumulative effect is impressive.
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#17 FouLLine

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:33 PM

View PostStickfig13, on 24 January 2013 - 03:19 PM, said:

View Postvalensi24, on 24 January 2013 - 02:49 PM, said:

wow, the braves outfield is amazing Upton/Upton/Heyward. almost on par with the angels outfield of Trout/Hamilton/Bourjos.

Not yet

Career AVG (162 games):

AVG/HR/RBI/SB/OPS

Trout: .306/32/90/48SB OPS .911
Hamilton: .304/35/122 OPS .913
Bourjos: .247/11/42/19SB OPS .703

BJ: .252/20/75/39SB .758
Justin: .278/24/80/18SB .832
Heyward: .261/22/74/16SB .799


BJ, Justin, Heyward might turn out to be elite, but their numbers aren't. Trout and Hamilton are truly elite (When Healthy)

I don't know. I just can't get past the fact that the Upton bros hit sub .280 every year.

Yeah but this year.  The Braves OF will be better.  Trout and Hamilton are better than Justin and Heyward, but not by enough to make up for how much better BJ is than Bourjous.

Using career numbers is clearly biased towards LAA.  Trout had a year last year that he isn't likely to reproduce for another year or two.  Hamilton came into the league far later in life than Heyward and The Uptons.  Justin and Heyward are finally to the point in their career where they have high chances of being top All-Stars.

Either way you slice it it'll be very close.  If the Upton brothers being together creates the type of magic that I think it's capable of I think The Braves could have the best OF in the league.

#18 Stickfig13

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:48 PM

View PostFouLLine, on 24 January 2013 - 04:33 PM, said:

View PostStickfig13, on 24 January 2013 - 03:19 PM, said:

View Postvalensi24, on 24 January 2013 - 02:49 PM, said:

wow, the braves outfield is amazing Upton/Upton/Heyward. almost on par with the angels outfield of Trout/Hamilton/Bourjos.

Not yet

Career AVG (162 games):

AVG/HR/RBI/SB/OPS

Trout: .306/32/90/48SB OPS .911
Hamilton: .304/35/122 OPS .913
Bourjos: .247/11/42/19SB OPS .703

BJ: .252/20/75/39SB .758
Justin: .278/24/80/18SB .832
Heyward: .261/22/74/16SB .799


BJ, Justin, Heyward might turn out to be elite, but their numbers aren't. Trout and Hamilton are truly elite (When Healthy)

I don't know. I just can't get past the fact that the Upton bros hit sub .280 every year.

Yeah but this year.  The Braves OF will be better.  Trout and Hamilton are better than Justin and Heyward, but not by enough to make up for how much better BJ is than Bourjous.

Using career numbers is clearly biased towards LAA.  Trout had a year last year that he isn't likely to reproduce for another year or two.  Hamilton came into the league far later in life than Heyward and The Uptons.  Justin and Heyward are finally to the point in their career where they have high chances of being top All-Stars.

Either way you slice it it'll be very close.  If the Upton brothers being together creates the type of magic that I think it's capable of I think The Braves could have the best OF in the league.

Agreed, but I Bourjos has never played a full year as a starter. I think he has potential to swipe 30+ bags.

I guess I just have a hard time getting excited about the Uptons

#19 Zumayaaaa

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:50 PM

View PostStickfig13, on 24 January 2013 - 03:29 PM, said:

View PostZumayaaaa, on 24 January 2013 - 03:22 PM, said:

Posted this in the J Upton thread but probably belongs here.


BJ Upton 5.01
Heyward 5.80
J Upton 6.11
Freeman 5.38
McCann 4.79
Uggla  4.47
Francisco 4.27 / Johnson 4.28
Simmons 3.87

That's a RC/G of 4.96 per game adding 2.00 RC/G for a pitcher (just a guess) puts them at 4.63 per game. National league average was 4.21 last season, Milwaukee was the best at 4.79 but Miller Park has a lot to do with that.

Either way its a pretty solid lineup with very few easy outs. Lots of power and lots of guys that will work a count, and the core 3 are 23, 23, and 25 years old.


Looking at that lineup I see a lot of K's and and .260 average.

View Postposty, on 24 January 2013 - 03:52 PM, said:

View Postvalensi24, on 24 January 2013 - 02:49 PM, said:

Upton/Upton/Heyward

If they stay healthy all year, they will have at least 460 strikeouts between them...

View PostStickfig13, on 24 January 2013 - 03:55 PM, said:

View Postposty, on 24 January 2013 - 03:52 PM, said:

View Postvalensi24, on 24 January 2013 - 02:49 PM, said:

Upton/Upton/Heyward

If they stay healthy all year, they will have at least 460 strikeouts between them...

THIS

Runs are runs....doesn't matter how you get them. High K's usually correlates to high HRs. HR = runs. Last season the NYY finished 2nd in the MLB in runs scored and hit .263 collectively.

#20 GreenGold74

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:57 PM

I am actually very interested the on the ripple effect for how Freeman will perform. He was blossoming the last month into their most consistent run producer and with the protection he will be surrounded he could surpass 100 RBI's easily.