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Tomahawk Chops: Braves Spring Training Reflection & Awards

Let's take a look back at what went down in Florida the past month and a half.


It's always tough to know how much of an emphasis you put into spring training numbers.

On one hand, the stats are from meaningless games with players typically just going through the motions. On the other, many players implement adjustments they've made to their game over the offseason, and a good showing in March can mean a lot of good things moving forward.

Without further ado, let's take a look back at Braves Spring Training, as well as hand out a couple of awards.

Offensive MVP: Evan Gattis

The story that keeps writing itself only got better this spring. Gattis hit .368/.393/.772 over 57 at-bats, including five doubles and six homers. His OPS of 1.165 was the highest of any regular who appeared in more than three games. I have no idea what the regular season will hold for El Oso Blanco, but the past month was really fun to watch.

Pitching MVP: Julio Teheran

Teheran wasn't just the best pitcher in Braves camp, but rather the best pitcher in all of baseball.

Check these numbers: Over 26 innings, he gave up seven hits and three runs. He struck out 35 batters and only walked nine. His ERA was 1.04. Those are video game stats.

Other Offensive Standouts: Freddie Freeman and Juan Francisco

Freeman hit .342/.366/.658 with 7 HR, 16 RBI, 9 K, 4 BB

Francisco hit .333/.361/.652 with 6 HR, 14 RBI, 16 K, 2 BB

Both guys were equally terrific throughout the spring, and they could have a huge role in the offense moving forward. Freeman could be primed for a breakout year if he's able to avoid the eye problems that plagued him last season. Francisco has to battle Chris Johnson for playing time at third, but my money is on him becoming the regular starter by early June.

Thought You'd Suck, You Did: Dan Uggla

Uggla hit .200/.268/.280 over the course of 75 at-bats. I'd like to think he'll bounce back this season, but I become more skeptical by the day.

Thought You'd Stink, You Didn't: Tyler Pastornicky

Pastornicky entered camp in a rough situation. Andrelton Simmons had risen to stardom right in front of him, and scouts all winter suggested TP would struggle to find playing time in the big leagues since he can't play defense. He went on to hit .375 with a 1.016 OPS this spring. His defense still left something to be desired, and he'll begin the year in the minors, but it's good to see Rev have a strong start to the long season.

What About Those Brothers?

Both B.J. and Justin Upton were impressive in their first exhibition runs with the Bravos. B.J.'s stat line looks a little weird with a higher batting average (.347) than on-base percentage (.342). Obviously the team would be thrilled with those kind of numbers in the regular season, but it would be nice to see Older Upton reclaim some of the plate discipline he showed earlier in his career. As for Younger Upton, he hit .286/.333/.586 with six home runs and a team-high 19 RBI.

It still hasn't quite hit me that these guys will spend at least the next three seasons in Atlanta, but I'm sure that will change within a week or so. Maybe when Justin hits a go-ahead three-run homer off Chad Durbin on Monday night things will change.

And now onto a few links as the club packs up and heads to Atlanta.

Braves starter Paul Maholm delivers scoreless start vs. Astros | News
In their final Grapefruit League tuneup before the regular season commences, the Braves topped the Astros, 2-0, behind yet another stellar outing from southpaw Paul Maholm.

Braves ready to translate optimism into victories | News
After bidding adieu to Chipper Jones with an abrupt postseason exit last year, the Braves began an impressive roster reconstruction process that has generated excitement and created great optimism as the dawn of a new era approaches.

Projecting the National League standings for 2013 - MLB - ESPN
The Brave are projected to win 91 games, and begin the season with a 6.4 percent chance of winning the World Series.

Johan Santana's shoulder capsule is torn again - Amazin' Avenue
Johan Santana's career with the Mets is likely over. It's never good when a great player has the backend of his career shattered by injury. Even though he pitched for a rival team, Santana, like Chase Utley and Roy Halladay, is one of the good guys in baseball and should be cheered for regardless of the name on the front of his jersey. Here's hoping he's able to make a full recovery.

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