LAKE BUENA VISTA, FLA. —
I’m no scout, but I liked the looks of Johan Camargo from the begin. There was just something about the functional, change-hitting infielder.
The Braves have often seemed a bit much more careful.
Camargo didn’t make the main-league roster to start off 2017 and was guiding Jace Peterson (keep in mind him?) when he did get the contact. The moment Camargo got his shot that calendar year he manufactured plenty of offense that he ultimately took some enjoying time from touted rookie Dansby Swanson. Camargo got his to start with prolonged prospect to be an every day participant in 2018 and was far better at the plate than any common exterior of Ronald Acuna and Freddie Freeman even though enjoying sound defense at three infield positions.
Which is why I imagined the Braves would be Okay with Camargo at third foundation for 2019. The Braves are far better than Okay there soon after signing 2015 American League MVP Josh Donaldson. That clearly was a excellent addition, but now there is no clear location in the lineup for Camargo soon after he showed he belonged there around 135 commences in 2018.
Which is as well undesirable. I’d like to see what Camargo can do as a lineup common from April to September (and beyond). He didn’t get to do that last calendar year for the reason that accidents cost him about 6 weeks, and now he’s slated for a utility part for the reason that the infield is full.
As you could possibly anticipate to listen to from a person just attempting to adhere in the majors, Camargo mentioned he’s not anxious about exactly where or when he performs.
“I seriously test not to concentrate as well a lot on front-business conclusions or nearly anything the manager has to do,” Camargo mentioned Tuesday by using an interpreter at Braves spring camp. “Really, I’m just thrilled for the possibility. The much more they want to get me in there, the happier I’m heading to be.”
Braves manager Brian Snitker will do what he can to get Camargo in the lineup. The program is to obtain a few commences for him each individual 7 days. Camargo will get his possibilities for the reason that Donaldson is attempting to keep wholesome, shortstop Swanson is a light hitter and second baseman Ozzie Albies was worn down by the conclude of his to start with full period in the huge leagues.
There’s also a prospect Camargo will get some time in the outfield. Nick Markakis performed in at minimum 155 video games in each individual of the previous 6 seasons, a streak that is sure to conclude. Each Markakis and centre fielder Ender Inciarte bat remaining, and Camargo was solid from both equally sides of the plate in 2018.
But Snitker mentioned the Braves also will test third baseman Austin Riley in the outfield this spring. That would make sense for the reason that he’s a prime prospect who could possibly be prepared now. But supplying RIley his shot could possibly mean Camargo stays trapped on the bench.
It’s possible I’m improper in considering Camargo can be a great every day participant around the extended term. In that case he can make a job out of the so-known as super-utility part he seems trapped in for now, which would not be so undesirable. Camargo can glance to an ex-Courageous Martin Prado and recent Astro as specifications.
“I was unquestionably a supporter of Martin Prado, so looking at him (and) how functional he was and able to enjoy so lots of positions,” Camargo mentioned. “That was a great part product coming up. … On the lookout at Marwin Gonzalez (of the Astros), I think to myself, ‘Why not? Why simply cannot I be the very same way?’”
I however think Camargo can be much more than that. When he got off to a great begin at the plate as a rookie he was likely having a little blessed on balls in enjoy. But I figured Camargo was for serious for the reason that he was hitting the ball difficult and had really great plate discipline for a rookie. Guaranteed plenty of, Camargo hit the ball even more challenging and had far better plate discipline in 2018.
He had great numbers around 524 plate appearance: .272 normal, .349 on-foundation percentage, .457 slugging percentage. In 258 plate appearances soon after the All-Star crack Camargo hit .295 with a .353 OBP and .491 SLG. For the period, Camargo rated third guiding Acuna and Freeman amid regulars in the Fangraphs Weighted Operates Made In addition metric.
As it stands now, Camargo jobs to be aspect of a 4-man Braves bench alongside with Charlie Culberson, Adam Duvall and the backup catcher. With Camargo as a sub, the Braves determine to have much more lineup depth soon after the deficiency of it hurt them in their reduction to the Dodgers in the Nationwide League Division Sequence. Camargo likely has trade price, but the Braves would be remaining slim if they sent him away and didn’t get a great hitter in return.
Once more, it is possible I’m overvaluing Camargo. FanGraphs projects he’ll get about 400 plate appearances this calendar year and arrive back again down to earth. It could switch out that Camargo and the Braves will profit from having him at the prepared as a substitute.
“I’m attempting to display screen (that) I’m a ballplayer who wants to gain,” Camargo mentioned. “Whether it is the defense, or with the bat, the key aim is to make sure the group wins and that’s all I seriously care about.”
I think that’s a different reason I was superior on Camargo from the begin. What is not to like?