Don’t worry Braves fans, your future is bright

Before the 2018 season the Atlanta Braves were likely not on your list to make it to the MLB post-season. In 2017 the Braves had finished in the middle of their division with only 72 wins and 90 losses, clearly not impressive. Many pundits (guys who pretend they can predict the future, maybe I fit in that category as well) would have told you the 2018 Braves would be lucky to get to a .500. Buy were we, they, us wrong.

Ending the season with a 90-72 record the 2018 Atlanta Braves flipped they 2017 record and proved just how wrong we all could be about a team. With 90 wins they finished eight wins ahead of the Washington Nationals who were picked to win that division. It was a special season for this young team lead by old faithful Freddie Freeman.

076b8019_freddie_freeman
By Bruce Tuten on Flickr (Original version) UCinternational (Crop) [CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Freddie Freeman was rejuvenated in 2018 having one of the best seasons of his career. He set career highs in hits and doubles, while playing 162 games. Freeman played in the most games since 2014 when he also played in 162.

Freeman wasn’t the only standout for the Braves as Mike Foltynewicz seemed to finally live up to his potential in his fifth year as a major league player. Foltynewicz was rewarded for his success by being named to his first all-star team. All of this while surpassing former phenom Julio Teheran as the ace of the the Braves’ staff.

Yes Freeman and Foltynewicz stood out and are names you probably knew already , but the main reason Braves nation should be excited about the future lies in the young bucks. I’m talking about Ozzie Albies (age 21), Dansby Swanson (age 24), Ronald Acuna (age 20) who lead the team in home runs and Sean Newcomb (age 25) who had 12 wins this season. These are the names of the future for the Atlanta Braves

So yes Braves fans you were eliminated from the playoffs tonight by Manny Machado and the Dodgers, but hold your head high and know that next year could be your year. Your future is bright and filled with rising stars.

Advertisements

U.S wins WBC 2017

Congratulations to team USA for winning it’s first World Baseball Classic!!!

Also, congratulations to Puerto Rico for great performances throughout the 2017 WBC. Both teams should hold their heads high today.

Where are the Puerto Ricans?

yadicatcher2014
By Johnmaxmena2 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)%5D, via Wikimedia Commons
Preparing for the WBC 2017 tonight I began to look at the two teams who will take the field. I really hadn’t paid much attention to the backgrounds of many of the players until I noticed how many of the players from Puerto Rico are not from Puerto Rico. Shouldn’t you have to be from a country to play for that country?

Let’s look at what I am talking about. Tonight’s starting pitcher is Seht Lugo, who was born in Shreveport, LA. Likely first baseman, T.J Rivera is form Bronx, NY. Centerfield will be patrolled by Reymond Fuentes of Orlando, FL. Of the nine likely starting players one-third of them are not from Puerto Rico. By comparison all nine of the likely starters for the United States were born in the United States.

I understand that the Puerto Rican players are proud of where their family came from and am all for it, but if you were born in the U.S. what is wrong with playing for the U.S. I have a hard time believing there is not enough talent born in Puerto Rico to field and entire team.

In the end I guess no matter who wins the game tonight Americans will be winning.

Who wins the WBC!

Tonight there is a baseball game going on that actually has meaning. No, it’s not a regular season MLB game or a college baseball game. It is the finals of the World Baseball Classic 2017.

Puerto Rico and the United States will face off in a one game, winner take all, affair at Dodgers Stadium in Los Angeles, CA with Seth Lugo and Marcus Stroman taking the hill. Sad thing is and this is merely a side note, many people will have no clue the game is being played because it can only be watched on the MLB Network. Really, we can’t get Fox or some other main stream network to carry this game? Sorry, that was just a rant I had to go on.

Who will win this battle of all-star like teams?

Being that I am an American I have to say the U.S. will win, but I know it will be a nailbiter and could easily come down to who has the arms left at the back end of the bullpen.

Hitters to Avoid in 2017

Yesterday we highlighted pitchers that, due mostly to injury concerns, we will be avoiding in 2017 drafts. Today we thought it only fair to pay attention to the other side of the game and name some hitters we won’t be drafting.

Yasiel Puig, OF Dodgers

There is a big hole in the outfield when it comes to quality fantasy players, one of the slimmest crop of usable players in a while. Even with that we will be avoiding Yasiel Puig. It is highly probably Puig will be traded in the offseason and a lot of people believe it will be to the Brewers, we agree with that by the way. Even if that happens and opens up his playing time we still believe he is too risky. He has not shown that he can be consistent nor stay healthy. He won’t go high in drafts likely, but still we want to stay away.

Jay Bruce, OF Mets

Again, we know there are not a lot of great outfielders to choose from, but Jay Bruce is not someone you want next year. Since his trade to the New York Mets Bruce had been horrible. In 36 games he has a slash line of .192/.271/.315, with only 4 home runs. Question has been asked is he trying to prove too much to his new team or is this simply regression to the mean for him. We believe it is that latter. Last time Bruce his over .250 was in 2013 and it is clear to us that his hot season in Cincinnati was not the new norm for him, but just an extended hot streak.

Jose Bautista, OF Blue Jays

Maybe we should have tried a little harder to find players outside of the outfield, but it is just where we found players we don’t want for 2017. Jose Bautista has his lowest batting average since 2005 when he hit .143. Next year he will be 36 years old and has progressively been showing signs of aging with declining performance and increasing time injured. He is still valued by most fantasy players as a high end option, but is not returning what you have to pay for him. He is likely going to finish the regular season with his first sub-25 home run season since 2009. If he isn’t knocking the ball out of the park, isn’t hitting for a good average and isn’t driving in 100+ runs then he just doesn’t provide enough value for where he will be drafted.

Daniel Murphy, 2B Nationals

Finally, a non-outfielder and probably a pick that has you scratching your head. Daniel Murphy has been a major break out star in his age 31 season and has given owners plenty to celebrate. However, is it really something he can do again next year? We predict that many fantasy owners will be drafting Murphy in the first three rounds and he will not return that value. It is very unlikely that at 32 Murphy will be able to repeat his 2016 season. He has made it known that he made changes to his batting stance to increase his power production, but even if that sticks next year he will more than likely fall off in batting average as he has his highest BABIP since 2008 at .350 that is not going to be repeated. He will be a very useful fantasy player in 2017, but not worth where you will have to draft him.

There are without a doubt a lot more players that will be on our do not draft list for 2017 like Miguel Sano, Joe Mauer, Mark Trumbo and Billy Hamilton, but we didn’t have room to talk about them all here. Be on the lookout during the offseason however for more on why these players won’t be on any of our fantasy baseball teams in 2017.