ATLANTA – Ronald Acuna Jr. served the Atlanta Braves accelerate their rebuilding plan in 2018, when they had been the surprise NL East champions.
As the Braves enter their past spring teaching at their Disney intricate in Kissimmee, Florida, the up coming problem is to transfer nearer to their first Environment Sequence considering that 1999.
Acuna won the NL rookie of the 12 months and put 12th in the MVP voting in spite of taking part in in only 111 game titles as a 20-12 months-old still left fielder. The indigenous of Venezuela confirmed all the tools – power, speed and protection – that make him the up coming encounter of the franchise.
Freddie Freeman, the present franchise player who was fourth in that MVP vote, mentioned he can’t hold out to see what Acuna can do in a comprehensive year.
“I never know what that guy’s ceiling is,” Freeman mentioned past month. “He is exclusive. … It’s going to be entertaining to observe him perform each and every single day. If he can keep wholesome, it’s going to be massive.”
The Braves bolstered their lineup by signing third baseman Josh Donaldson, the 2015 AL MVP, to a a person-12 months, $23 million offer. They also added veteran catcher Brian McCann, bringing him again to where he launched his occupation, and re-signed right fielder Nick Markakis.
Below are some regions to observe for in the course of spring teaching:
A still left calf strain spoiled Donaldson’s 2018 year with Toronto and Cleveland. The Braves are gambling Donaldson, 33, returns to his peak 3-12 months stage of 2015-17, when he averaged 37 homers. “We weren’t hunting at third foundation,” mentioned basic supervisor Alex Anthopoulos. “We just wished a big bat with power.” McCann replaces Kurt Suzuki in sharing time with catcher Tyler Flowers. Donaldson pushes Johan Camargo out of third foundation and into a super utility role. Camargo and Charlie Culberson offer outstanding versatility to the bench, a weak location in 2018. Substitution starters should be located for Anibal Sanchez and Brandon McCarthy, who blended for 39 commences past year.
ROOKIES TO View
Appropriate-hander Touki Toussaint could acquire a rotation location this spring. His teammates rave about his likely, which is constructed around a curveball which guarantees to be his signature pitch. Remaining-handers Kolby Allard and Luiz Gohara and right-handers Mike Soroka, Kyle Wright and Bryse Wilson also will contend for starting off positions. 3rd baseman Austin Riley may well be the motive the Braves had been fascinated in only a a person-12 months offer with Donaldson. Outfielder Cristian Pache, an exceptional defensive player, is the organization’s other major place prospect.
They are Established
Protection stays a robust position. The outfield features 2018 Gold Glove winners Markakis and Inciarte. Acuna, who may well at some point transfer to right field or heart field, also is a robust defensive player. Freeman also won a Gold Glove while finishing fourth in the MVP voting. Ozzie Albies, a attainable foreseeable future Gold Glove winner, confirmed shocking power with 24 homers and is a lock at second foundation.
They are NOT
Mike Foltynewicz emerged as an All-Star and No. 1 starter past year, and midseason addition Kevin Gausman served solidify the middle of the rotation. Otherwise, quite a few questions continue to be in the rotation, especially following Julio Teheran was sent to the bullpen for the playoffs. Younger starters unable to go deep into game titles could put a hefty drain on a bullpen which has its have questions. Arodys Vizcaino’s sore shoulder held him from managing the comprehensive-time closer’s task, while A.J. Minter battled manage problems at occasions.
Braves pitchers and catchers have their first workout on Feb. 16, and the team’s first comprehensive-squad workout is Feb. 21. They approach to transfer into a new spring teaching facility in North Port, Florida, around Sarasota, in 2020 and have scheduled their remaining exhibition game this spring at the new facility on March 24. The Braves open the year on March 28 at Philadelphia. Atlanta’s home opener is April 1 against the Cubs.