(Editor’s note. The hammer has fallen and while the penalties are severe, the Braves must move on and that means we must as well. If there is new news in regards to the investigation we will report it here but over the next few days we are going to finish up our player reviews series while also keeping an eye on free agency, trade rumors and arbitration news.)
Jace Peterson and Adonis Garcia came into 2017 hoping to play key parts for the Braves but injuries and poor performance have put their longterm future with the franchise in question.
Jace Peterson 2017 Projections/Stats
|Jace Peterson (ZiPs)||514||108||20||6||57||.240||.322||.347||.301||1.0|
|Jace Peterson (2017)||215||40||9||2||15||.215||.318||.317||.280||-0.4|
Peterson came into the season hoping to fit in with the Braves as as super utility option off the bench. However, early struggles at the plate ultimately landed Peterson back in Triple-A. He recovered with a strong finish to the season but as an arbitration eligible player, his longterm future with the franchise is in question.
Peterson failed to make his mark early hitting just .180/.270/.238 over the first 49 games of the season. He rode the Triple-A shuttle for a while before returning to the big leagues down the stretch. Peterson hit .258/.374/.359 in 34 games at Gwinnett and put up a wRC+ of 110. He was able to finish strong with the Braves going 13-for-40 in September.
The biggest problem for Peterson other than his inconsistency at the plate is the presence of Johan Camargo who projects to be in a similar utility role if he is unable to lock down the starting third base job. Camargo is a switch hitter who showed improved results at the plate and is a cheaper option.
Peterson is eligible for arbitration for the first time this offseason and MLB Trade Rumors projects him for a $1.1 million salary. That number may prove to be more than the Braves are willing to swallow in order to have him on the roster. Peterson has now collected over 1,200 major league plate appearances, and has not managed anything beyond a 78 wRC+ and surprisingly poor defensive metrics. He’s collected exactly 0.0 fWAR to date, and his time as a Brave may be running out.
Adonis Garcia 2017 Projections/Stats
|Adonis Garcia (ZiPs)||496||124||25||12||57||.263||.296||.397||.300||0.9|
|Adonis Garcia (2017)||183||41||4||5||19||.237||.273||.347||.269||-0.4|
Garcia began the season as essentially the Braves’ everyday third baseman before injuries derailed his season. He appeared in just 52 games hitting .237/.273/.347 with five home runs.
He struggled early as the everyday option slashing .222/.255/.311 in April. Hamstring and ankle injuries limited him to just 11 games in May. He returned from the disabled list in June and made a cameo appearance in four games before hitting the disabled list again due to a finger injury that required surgery. Garcia wouldn’t be ready to play again until September and appeared in just 14 games down the stretch.
The best fit for Garcia has always appeared to be as a right handed bench option. He has hit .300/.351/.471 in over 220 at bats against left handed pitching in his career. Despite being 32, Garcia won’t be eligible for arbitration until next season and is still a relatively cheap option.
He is however a defensive question mark. Per FanGraphs, Garcia has been worth minus-12 defensive runs saved over his first three seasons. He has seen some time in left field but isn’t a very intriguing option there either.
Ultimately, Garcia’s place on Atlanta’s roster in 2018 may depend on what else the Braves do this offseason. A right handed option off the bench appears to be the best option for his success but at this point you have to wonder if the Braves haven’t already moved on. Like Peterson, Garcia’s major league tenure has been unimpressive, despite a surprising debut where he put up a 112 wRC+ in 198 PAs back in 2015. His overall major league stats include an 89 wRC+ and just 1.3 fWAR in over 900 PAs; he also lacks the defensive versatility you might expect in a bench option. The Braves will likely have little compunction with regard to moving on from Garcia, but it remains to be seen whether he’ll fit into their 2018 plans or be sent to ply his trade elsewhere.