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Atlanta Braves 2022 Minor League Player Review: Ryan Goins

The veteran infielder spent a second straight season as a part of the Stripers’ infield at Gwinnett.

Atlanta Braves v Boston Red Sox Photo by Mark Brown/Getty Images

Though veteran infielder Ryan Goins has not made an appearance in an MLB game since 2020, he has spent the last two years as minor league infield depth for the Braves with the Gwinnett Stripers. He was even called up to the majors in 2022 and spent about a week on the active roster, but didn’t find his way into a game.

How Acquired

Similar to 2021, Ryan Goins signed a minor league deal with the Braves and received an invitation to Spring Training in 2022. In 2021, he served as a big part of the infield at Triple-A for much of the season. Before arriving in the Braves organization, Goins totaled nearly 1,700 plate appearances across eight seasons from 2013-2020 with the Blue Jays, Royals, and White Sox. Of course, Goins has been connected with Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos since the start of his career, as he was a fourth round pick of the Blue Jays in 2009 (when Anthopoulos was apart of the Blue Jays front office before becoming their General Manager).

What were the Expectations?

Goins was viewed as organizational infield depth in the minors for the Braves entering 2022. He filled a similar role in 2021, with likely little expectation he would fill any sort of role at the MLB level for an extended period of time. However, Goins did carry a meaningful role at Gwinnett as a member of the Stripers infield.

2022 Results

In his career, Goins has been more known for his glove than his bat. His production at Gwinnett proved that to once again be true in 2022. In 317 plate appearances, Goins produced a .501 OPS and 25 RBIs. Only 12 of his 65 hits went for extra bases, and he struck out 99 times compared to 12 walks. He tallied a 31 wRC+ in 317 PA for Gwinnett... which is rough to say the least.

Goins did spend a few days in Atlanta as the Braves were dealing with infield depth issues due to injuries in mid-August. However, he did not make an appearance before heading back to the Stripers to finish the season.

What went right? What went wrong?

Though he did spend a few days in Atlanta, Goins did not have a chance to make an impact at the Major League level. However, on an individual level, Goins struggled mightily at the plate in 2022. He produced the worst offensive output in his career at the minor league level since his rookie season. Though his experience and fielding prowess are likely valued by the Braves, he was a clear liability at the plate.

In short, the good was that he was able to add some more major league service time to his tally (though he had already crossed the five-year mark ahead of this most recent callup). The bad was that at age 34, he appears to have lost the ability to hit at Triple-A, and now more than three years removed from any kind of offensive relevance (he had a 134 wRC+ in 316 PAs in Triple-A in 2019).

2023 Outlook

In terms of fWAR, Goins has not provided positive value at the MLB level since 2017. Now coming off arguably the worst offensive season of his career in the minors, Goins could be nearing the end of his career as he enters his mid-30s. Perhaps a franchise will offer another minor league contract and invitation to Spring Training, and that could be the Braves once again after the past two seasons. However, it is hard to expect Goins to provide notable value at the MLB level in 2023.

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