The Braves got a little thinner at third base on Wednesday, when it became official that infielder Adonis Garcia would be leaving the club for Korea. Garcia had been an inconsistent contributor for Atlanta over the past two-plus seasons, but he did resurrect what looked to be a broken career at 31-years-old, earning an opportunity to further a career in the majors and now in the KBO. Best of luck to Adonis, wherever his career takes him in the future.
As frustrating as the Hall of Fame voting can be, it seems that the writers have gotten one thing right this year: having Chipper Jones as the leading vote-recipient, at least to this point. Chipper would currently be part of a huge Hall of Fame class, with four others currently surpassing the 75% threshold necessary for induction.
As of this writing, 107 votes have been collected out of an expected total of 416 in the tracker. Of those, 104 have been public. Chipper Jones leads the way appearing on 98.1% of the vote (105 out of 107) and is followed by Jim Thome (95.3%) and Vladimir Guerrero (94.4%). Edgar Martinez (81.3%) and Trevor Hoffman (79.4%) are the other players who would end up currently gaining induction but there is still quite a ways to go.
Dan Szymborski of ESPN.com chose four stealth contenders for the 2018 season, and the Braves were among those listed. The projections at this point mean very little, given the relative infancy of the offseason with regards to both the free agent and trade markets, but the reasoning for Atlanta’s inclusion has more to do with the young core that is soon to be joined in the major leagues.
It would be a major surprise if Dansby Swanson didn't crush his 2017 performance. ZiPS projects 3.0-plus WAR in a full season of Ozzie Albies and another 2.0-plus from rookie outfielder Ronald Acuna (which is an amazing projection for the a 20-year-old). ZiPS also sees pitchers such as Kolby Allard and Luiz Gohara (among many others) with a high probability of success very quickly.
MLB Pipeline chose several prospect that have a good chance of breaking out this season, and among them was Braves outfield prospect Cristian Pache.
Ronald Acuna understandably gets most of the attention regarding center-field phenoms in the Braves system, but Pache's plus defense could eventually push Acuna to a corner. He can hit for average and should be a major basestealing threat.
There were many historic feats achieved in 2017, with Giancarlo Stanton’s 59 home runs, Chris Sale’s 308 strikeouts, and JD Martinez’ 9.6 AB/HR. Take a look inside at some of the most impressive statistical seasons around baseball.