Braves beat writer Mark Bowman answers fan questions regarding the 2018 roster, Ronald Acuna, and more in this week’s Inbox.
It currently seems more realistic to project the Braves to become playoff contenders in 2019. But if the right deal or right piece becomes available, the club may be willing to use its resources to make a significant acquisition.
Of course, if this route is chosen, there should be a high level of confidence the required asset would be capable of providing significant value beyond next year, when it will be more feasible to project Atlanta as a legit playoff contender.
Our own Sam Meredith breaks down the Braves’ pitching prospects that could one day grace the mound at SunTrust Park. The organization is loaded with arms, and Sam gives a glimpse at how some of those arms may contribute in the future.
Touki Toussaint probably has the highest ceiling of any Braves starting pitching prospect. Touki has a plus plus fastball, a plus curveball and an average changeup that culminates to be anything but average. He had a 5.04 ERA at Florida this season but that was misleading as he also had a 3.27 xFIP. He struck out 123 in just 105.1 innings at Florida and then 44 more in 39.2 innings at Mississippi. Walks are going to be his biggest hurdle as well but if he can control them any little bit he could be the Braves ace in the future.
As always, Brad does a great job with the podcast in this week’s installment. He breaks down a long list of topics to keep all the Talking Chop listeners well stocked on Braves information.
Giancarlo Stanton continued his march toward Maris on Monday, crushing a 450-foot homer to center field for his 55th of the season. The Marlins slugger has a chance to not only reach Maris, but become the first player to reach 60 homers in a season since 2001.
Clayton Kershaw had an uncharacteristically bad night on Monday in Philadelphia, when the Phillies used a sixth inning grand slam from Aaron Altherr to take down the Dodgers. This game was quirky from the start, as leadoff batter Chris Taylor began the game with an inside-the-park homer that was followed by a conventional homer from Justin Turner.