2021 ZiPS Projections: Atlanta Braves

After having typically appeared in the hallowed pages of Baseball Think Factory, Dan Szymborski’s ZiPS projections have now been released at FanGraphs for nine years. The exercise continues this offseason. Below are the projections for the Atlanta Braves.

Batters

How do you get to the playoffs easily with only one dependable starter? Pummeling the league into submission with your offense is a good place to start. The Dodgers led the National League in runs scored, but the Braves finished only a single run behind them. Marcell Ozuna’s one-year contract turned out to be one of the best moves of the winter. Unable to maintain the level of his 2017 breakout the last couple of years, he went out and topped even that season, hitting .338/.431/.636 and earning two-thirds of a Triple Crown by finishing third in batting average while leading the league in homers and RBIs. Sure, it wouldn’t have been quite the same in a 60-game season, though one could argue that batting average is harder to lead in over a short year due to being a volatile qualitative measure.

Atlanta now faces the challenge of replacing Ozuna’s production. That won’t happen in full, but newly minted NL MVP Freddie Freeman returns, as does the Ronald Acuña Jr./Ozzie Albies tandem, a pair of young stars that can quite literally match up with any such coupling in MLB history. Freeman did as much to push his Hall of Fame case forward as you can in 60 games and passed the halfway mark to 3,000 hits; he’ll likely finish in the 2,500-hit range, something he’ll likely need with around 400 home runs as a first baseman. By the time he retires, ZiPS projects him to have the fourth-most WAR for a 21st-century first baseman with around 60, but that’s not slam-dunk territory.

Acuña’s a superstar, and one has to remember that the top comp in his cohort is the young, dynamic Jose Canseco, not the plodding slugger the latter was late in his career. In a way, it feels almost fitting to have him comped to the first 40/40 hitter. Technically, Acuña has the talent to be the first 50/50 hitter someday, but there’s always that issue that the better a player hits, the more resistant managers become to letting them run the bases aggressively. Even Rickey Henderson’s attempts dropped over time!

There are still some offensive holes for the Braves to fill. Maybe holes is too strong a word, though I’m not sure Cristian Pache is a starter at this point (Steamer is even more skeptical). But there are, at least, areas for concern. One is in left, where Adam Duvall is best suited as a reserve and occasional pleasant surprise when he goes on a power run rather than an underwhelming starter. If the Braves aren’t into spending a lot of money — and no team really appears to be all that into this — Joc Pederson would be a fun acquisition. Duvall doesn’t have big platoon splits, but Pederson certainly does! At the very least, it would be better than calling Nick Markakis yet again.

Pitchers

The fate of Mike Soroka is again a big separator between ZiPS and Steamer — ZiPS being generally bullish, Steamer generally bearish. One of the big X factors is how well Soroka can continue to suppress homers, something ZiPS is fairly confident about given the hit data against Soroka in his rookie season. But it’s not quite as confident as it was before 2020; missing a year due to injury, even a non-arm one, has a nasty way of introducting uncertainty into the mix.

Due to Soroka’s missing season, Max Fried edges him out in the ZiPS projections, the computer seeing him as a solid No. 2 starter threatening to cross into ace territory. And Fried certainly was the team’s ace in 2020, putting up a 2.25 ERA in his 11 starts while the rest of the rotation combined for a bleak 6.44 ERA. That figure even includes Ian Anderson’s solid six starts towards the end of the year. ZiPS still thinks he could stand to shed a walk per game or so, and, like Fried, he isn’t projected to be anywhere near as effective at preventing round-trippers as 2020, but he does get a projection of a solid mid-rotation starter.

The good news is that ZiPS does not project the “other guys” to pitch anywhere near as poorly as 2020, which should effectively counter any regression from Fried and/or Anderson. Soroka’s return is obviously a huge part of that, but ZiPS likes Bryse Wilson and at least thinks Kyle Wright and Touki Toussaint will be better than replacement. Drew Smyly was terrific in his brief time with the Giants, showing better velocity than ever, but given his long-term injury record, the projections are going to be conservative for the moment. Between the most recent graduations and trades, the pitching prospect cupboard is finally starting to look a little short-stocked, but at least Atlanta is closer to knowing what it has long-term as it contends for the next half-decade.

One pedantic note for 2021: For the WAR graphic, I’m using FanGraphs’ depth charts playing time, not the playing time ZiPS spits out, so there will be occasional differences in WAR totals.

Ballpark graphic courtesy Eephus League. Depth charts constructed by way of those listed here.

Batters – Standard
Player B Age PO PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS
Ronald Acuña Jr. R 23 LF 672 570 134 161 30 2 43 115 91 171 33 7
Ozzie Albies B 24 2B 659 609 105 174 38 6 28 91 43 115 18 3
Freddie Freeman L 31 1B 625 533 98 158 39 2 28 111 82 112 6 3
Marcell Ozuna R 30 LF 598 537 82 154 27 2 34 126 58 131 5 1
Dansby Swanson R 27 SS 597 533 81 134 29 3 19 81 54 154 11 3
Travis d’Arnaud R 32 C 422 382 46 101 18 0 16 79 33 97 1 0
Adam Duvall R 32 LF 497 451 64 103 22 2 28 91 35 140 2 1
Braden Shewmake L 23 SS 498 458 55 115 26 6 7 51 32 87 16 6
Austin Riley R 24 3B 529 486 67 116 24 3 26 87 36 160 0 1
Johan Camargo B 27 3B 456 420 54 103 26 1 15 58 30 108 0 0
Ender Inciarte L 30 CF 497 448 63 114 18 4 8 46 39 77 16 7
Tyler Flowers R 35 C 297 259 28 55 11 1 8 30 27 104 0 0
Cristian Pache R 22 CF 506 471 52 112 27 8 13 59 30 132 5 9
Drew Waters B 22 LF 578 540 59 127 34 8 11 55 31 187 12 6
Adeiny Hechavarría R 32 SS 316 294 36 76 14 2 5 32 17 57 2 1
Justin Dean R 24 CF 440 395 46 82 13 8 6 34 38 134 23 11
Riley Unroe B 25 SS 480 430 47 94 16 3 8 43 42 136 9 6
Jack Mayfield R 30 2B 420 388 51 94 22 1 14 58 22 94 4 2
Alex Jackson R 25 C 355 324 39 64 14 1 16 49 19 140 1 0
Abraham Almonte B 32 CF 315 277 40 63 16 4 8 33 36 71 9 5
Scott Schebler L 30 CF 395 354 42 79 16 1 12 52 31 97 2 3
Matt Adams L 32 1B 315 292 34 63 12 0 15 63 20 101 0 0
Charlie Culberson R 32 LF 249 233 26 54 10 2 6 29 12 70 2 1
William Contreras R 23 C 401 376 37 85 19 1 9 37 21 105 0 0
Pablo Sandoval B 34 3B 282 258 27 61 12 0 9 40 19 60 0 0
Shane Robinson R 36 CF 320 292 35 70 10 2 3 23 21 40 7 2
Sal Giardina B 29 C 193 172 16 34 7 0 2 12 9 60 0 0
Jack López R 28 3B 428 403 43 91 13 1 10 43 15 117 10 4
Nick Markakis L 37 RF 428 390 45 100 27 2 5 46 32 70 0 1
Logan Brown L 24 C 306 291 23 60 10 1 2 19 12 80 0 1
CJ Alexander L 24 3B 226 202 21 39 6 3 3 16 22 68 3 2
Ryan Casteel R 30 1B 442 411 44 88 20 2 16 60 27 134 1 1
Sean Kazmar Jr. R 36 1B 362 340 33 77 14 1 6 32 15 54 2 1
Riley Delgado R 26 SS 541 508 44 119 17 2 1 29 23 60 1 1
Jefrey Ramos R 22 LF 457 432 42 92 16 4 11 46 19 120 1 1
Tyler Neslony L 27 RF 405 373 38 80 17 2 7 35 27 110 5 5
Greyson Jenista L 24 RF 475 430 45 86 17 4 11 46 39 163 3 8
Alejandro Salazar R 24 2B 446 425 32 88 14 3 2 25 12 125 7 7

 

Batters – Advanced
Player BA OBP SLG OPS+ ISO BABIP RC/27 Def WAR No. 1 Comp
Ronald Acuña Jr. .282 .390 .568 147 .286 .331 8.7 4 6.5 Jose Canseco
Ozzie Albies .286 .335 .506 117 .220 .313 6.6 5 4.7 Roberto Alomar
Freddie Freeman .296 .395 .535 141 .238 .331 8.1 3 4.7 Todd Helton
Marcell Ozuna .287 .356 .534 130 .248 .323 7.3 3 4.1 Gary Sheffield
Dansby Swanson .251 .323 .424 94 .173 .319 5.0 3 2.5 Don Buddin
Travis d’Arnaud .264 .325 .437 98 .173 .316 5.2 -2 1.7 Spud Davis
Adam Duvall .228 .292 .472 96 .244 .265 4.8 6 1.6 Greg Vaughn
Braden Shewmake .251 .305 .380 79 .129 .297 4.3 2 1.2 Rance Mulliniks
Austin Riley .239 .297 .461 95 .222 .300 4.8 -3 1.2 Harlond Clift
Johan Camargo .245 .299 .419 86 .174 .296 4.5 2 1.1 Scotti Madison
Ender Inciarte .254 .316 .366 79 .112 .292 4.2 4 1.0 Eddie Milner
Tyler Flowers .212 .310 .355 74 .143 .320 3.8 4 1.0 Tom Wilson
Cristian Pache .238 .285 .412 80 .174 .304 3.9 6 0.9 Rob Ducey
Drew Waters .235 .280 .389 73 .154 .339 3.8 12 0.6 Tim Raines
Adeiny Hechavarría .259 .301 .371 75 .112 .306 4.1 0 0.4 Chris Clapinski
Justin Dean .208 .286 .327 61 .119 .298 3.2 7 0.3 Tony Walker
Riley Unroe .219 .291 .326 62 .107 .301 3.2 4 0.3 Doug Baker
Jack Mayfield .242 .286 .412 81 .170 .286 4.2 -3 0.3 Kelly Heath
Alex Jackson .198 .262 .395 69 .198 .286 3.5 -2 0.1 George Bjorkman
Abraham Almonte .227 .317 .401 87 .173 .278 4.4 -7 0.1 Jeff DaVanon
Scott Schebler .223 .296 .376 75 .153 .273 3.8 -2 0.0 Ryan McGuire
Matt Adams .216 .270 .411 75 .195 .273 3.8 3 -0.1 John Milner
Charlie Culberson .232 .274 .369 67 .137 .306 3.6 3 -0.2 Junior Spivey
William Contreras .226 .272 .354 63 .128 .290 3.4 -2 -0.2 Bob Henley
Pablo Sandoval .236 .291 .388 76 .151 .275 4.0 -4 -0.2 Geoff Blum
Shane Robinson .240 .292 .318 61 .079 .269 3.4 0 -0.2 So Taguchi
Sal Giardina .198 .271 .273 44 .076 .291 2.5 -1 -0.5 Steve Holm
Jack López .226 .259 .337 55 .112 .293 3.1 3 -0.5 Rick Morris
Nick Markakis .256 .313 .374 80 .118 .302 4.2 -5 -0.6 Paul Waner
Logan Brown .206 .245 .268 35 .062 .278 2.2 6 -0.6 Scott Hatteberg
CJ Alexander .193 .274 .297 51 .104 .275 2.7 -1 -0.7 Pat Osborn
Ryan Casteel .214 .262 .389 68 .175 .276 3.5 1 -0.8 Carmelo Martinez
Sean Kazmar Jr. .226 .265 .326 55 .100 .254 3.0 4 -0.9 Todd Zeile
Riley Delgado .234 .275 .281 47 .047 .264 2.7 1 -1.1 Mike Bordick
Jefrey Ramos .213 .249 .345 54 .132 .269 2.9 4 -1.2 Bob Juday
Tyler Neslony .214 .272 .327 57 .113 .285 2.9 0 -1.3 Ryan McGuire
Greyson Jenista .200 .265 .335 56 .135 .293 2.7 3 -1.3 Andy Abad
Alejandro Salazar .207 .231 .268 31 .061 .289 1.9 4 -2.0 Albenis Machado

 

Pitchers – Standard
Player T Age W L ERA G GS IP H ER HR BB SO FIP
Max Fried L 27 12 8 4.03 29 26 145.0 140 65 16 53 146 3.84
Mike Soroka R 23 8 5 3.81 21 21 120.3 119 51 14 30 95 3.99
Ian Anderson R 23 9 6 4.15 24 24 121.3 104 56 16 63 144 4.23
Cole Hamels L 37 6 5 4.46 19 19 105.0 102 52 16 39 97 4.66
Bryse Wilson R 23 9 6 4.50 25 21 120.0 120 60 20 34 116 4.39
Mike Foltynewicz R 29 9 7 4.77 24 24 126.3 124 67 21 47 118 4.71
Kyle Wright R 25 10 8 4.75 28 25 125.0 124 66 18 54 121 4.56
Touki Toussaint R 25 8 6 4.66 31 18 110.0 101 57 15 62 125 4.62
Sean Newcomb L 28 7 6 4.59 32 17 100.0 94 51 15 44 97 4.57
Jeremy Walker R 26 9 7 4.71 33 15 116.7 126 61 16 37 91 4.51
Nolan Kingham R 24 9 8 5.06 26 26 151.3 171 85 24 44 93 5.04
Drew Smyly L 32 4 3 4.70 21 18 97.7 96 51 18 36 104 4.61
Jhoulys Chacín R 33 8 7 4.96 23 22 110.7 112 61 18 45 94 5.01
Hayden Deal L 26 7 6 4.75 25 15 96.7 104 51 12 41 71 4.78
Will Smith L 31 4 2 3.40 53 0 50.3 39 19 8 17 72 3.40
Tucker Davidson L 25 7 6 4.84 21 21 93.0 91 50 10 56 85 4.72
A.J. Minter L 27 6 3 3.51 58 1 56.3 48 22 6 23 71 3.38
Jasseel De La Cruz R 24 9 8 5.04 25 23 116.0 118 65 16 60 95 5.04
Chris Martin R 35 3 1 3.30 46 0 43.7 40 16 5 7 46 3.18
Kyle Muller L 23 7 6 5.12 23 23 103.7 98 59 13 73 103 5.11
Shane Greene R 32 3 2 3.79 63 0 59.3 53 25 8 20 60 4.07
Huascar Ynoa R 23 6 5 5.03 27 17 96.7 96 54 15 51 94 5.02
Mark Melancon R 36 4 2 3.81 51 0 49.7 51 21 6 13 43 3.92
Corbin Clouse L 26 4 2 3.93 37 2 50.3 43 22 5 28 58 3.95
Luke Jackson R 29 5 3 4.00 59 0 72.0 67 32 8 32 83 3.82
Philip Pfeifer L 28 6 6 5.13 29 14 101.7 100 58 18 54 103 5.23
Darren O’Day R 38 2 1 3.73 37 0 31.3 26 13 4 11 37 3.82
Robbie Erlin L 30 2 2 4.96 37 7 78.0 87 43 14 15 66 4.47
Tyler Matzek L 30 3 2 4.11 31 0 35.0 27 16 4 26 49 4.35
Emmanuel Ramirez R 26 7 7 5.52 25 18 109.3 122 67 19 50 90 5.33
Brooks Wilson R 25 3 3 5.19 20 7 59.0 65 34 9 25 42 5.16
Josh Tomlin R 36 4 3 5.22 32 10 79.3 90 46 18 10 63 5.00
Tommy Milone L 34 6 6 5.53 23 15 107.3 125 66 24 23 91 5.15
Claudio Custodio R 30 4 4 5.00 31 4 63.0 67 35 9 25 46 4.91
Chad Sobotka R 27 3 2 4.41 43 0 49.0 42 24 5 29 58 4.10
Grant Dayton L 33 2 2 4.40 36 0 43.0 39 21 8 15 53 4.32
Felix Hernandez R 35 6 6 5.66 19 19 90.7 100 57 18 32 70 5.51
Thomas Burrows L 26 4 3 4.67 46 0 61.7 56 32 9 37 67 4.90
Patrick Weigel R 26 3 3 5.56 20 14 56.7 59 35 10 34 50 5.67
Brandon White R 26 4 3 4.67 37 0 54.0 51 28 6 34 51 4.79
Ben Rowen R 32 3 3 5.19 38 5 69.3 78 40 14 14 51 5.11
Jacob Webb R 27 3 3 4.89 49 1 49.7 46 27 8 30 52 5.11
Jason Creasy R 29 2 2 5.13 33 0 40.3 42 23 7 16 37 4.94
Bradley Roney R 28 0 0 5.26 30 0 39.3 33 23 6 30 50 5.06
Connor Johnstone R 26 4 4 5.66 33 8 82.7 97 52 15 30 51 5.58

 

Pitchers – Advanced
Player K/9 BB/9 HR/9 BB% K% BABIP ERA+ ERA- WAR No. 1 Comp
Max Fried 9.1 3.3 1.0 8.5% 23.4% .308 112 89 2.6 Andy Pettitte
Mike Soroka 7.1 2.2 1.0 5.9% 18.8% .290 119 84 2.4 Dave Rozema
Ian Anderson 10.7 4.7 1.2 11.9% 27.2% .292 109 92 2.0 Charlie Lea
Cole Hamels 8.3 3.3 1.4 8.5% 21.2% .290 101 99 1.4 Tom Glavine
Bryse Wilson 8.7 2.6 1.5 6.7% 22.7% .298 100 100 1.3 Marty Janzen 젠슨
Mike Foltynewicz 8.4 3.3 1.5 8.6% 21.6% .290 95 106 1.3 Ed Wojna
Kyle Wright 8.7 3.9 1.3 9.8% 22.0% .302 95 105 1.3 Steve Arlin
Touki Toussaint 10.2 5.1 1.2 12.5% 25.3% .303 97 103 1.1 Bob Brown
Sean Newcomb 8.7 4.0 1.4 10.2% 22.4% .287 99 102 1.1 Luke Walker
Jeremy Walker 7.0 2.9 1.2 7.3% 17.8% .306 96 104 1.1 Benny Frey
Nolan Kingham 5.5 2.6 1.4 6.6% 14.0% .296 89 112 1.1 Rick Wise
Drew Smyly 9.6 3.3 1.7 8.6% 24.7% .299 96 104 1.0 Kent Mercker
Jhoulys Chacín 7.6 3.7 1.5 9.2% 19.3% .290 91 110 1.0 Spec Shea
Hayden Deal 6.6 3.8 1.1 9.4% 16.4% .303 95 105 1.0 Andy Hassler
Will Smith 12.9 3.0 1.4 8.3% 35.3% .290 133 75 0.9 Arthur Rhodes
Tucker Davidson 8.2 5.4 1.0 13.2% 20.0% .302 93 107 0.9 Jerry Reuss
A.J. Minter 11.3 3.7 1.0 9.6% 29.7% .307 129 78 0.9 Shane Rawley
Jasseel De La Cruz 7.4 4.7 1.2 11.5% 18.2% .295 90 112 0.8 Mike Torrez
Chris Martin 9.5 1.4 1.0 4.0% 26.0% .299 137 73 0.7 Paul Quantrill
Kyle Muller 8.9 6.3 1.1 15.2% 21.4% .297 88 113 0.7 Trevor Wilson
Shane Greene 9.1 3.0 1.2 8.0% 24.0% .283 119 84 0.7 Jeff Tam
Huascar Ynoa 8.8 4.7 1.4 11.7% 21.6% .300 90 111 0.6 Tim Byron
Mark Melancon 7.8 2.4 1.1 6.2% 20.4% .306 119 84 0.6 Paul Quantrill
Corbin Clouse 10.4 5.0 0.9 12.7% 26.2% .297 115 87 0.6 Marcelino Lopez
Luke Jackson 10.4 4.0 1.0 10.2% 26.4% .316 113 88 0.6 Sean Green
Philip Pfeifer 9.1 4.8 1.6 11.8% 22.5% .296 88 114 0.5 Eddie Oropesa
Darren O’Day 10.6 3.2 1.1 8.3% 28.0% .286 121 83 0.4 Russ Springer
Robbie Erlin 7.6 1.7 1.6 4.5% 19.9% .311 91 110 0.3 Chris Key
Tyler Matzek 12.6 6.7 1.0 16.4% 30.8% .299 110 91 0.3 Tippy Martinez
Emmanuel Ramirez 7.4 4.1 1.6 10.0% 18.1% .309 82 122 0.2 Sean White
Brooks Wilson 6.4 3.8 1.4 9.4% 15.8% .301 87 115 0.2 Orval Grove
Josh Tomlin 7.1 1.1 2.0 3.0% 18.9% .299 87 115 0.2 Gerry Staley
Tommy Milone 7.6 1.9 2.0 4.9% 19.5% .312 82 122 0.2 Terry Mulholland
Claudio Custodio 6.6 3.6 1.3 9.0% 16.5% .296 90 111 0.2 Jim Todd
Chad Sobotka 10.7 5.3 0.9 13.3% 26.6% .301 103 97 0.2 Clay Bryant
Grant Dayton 11.1 3.1 1.7 8.2% 29.1% .298 103 97 0.2 Mike Magnante
Felix Hernandez 6.9 3.2 1.8 7.9% 17.3% .296 80 125 0.1 Pat Ahearne
Thomas Burrows 9.8 5.4 1.3 13.3% 24.1% .292 97 103 0.1 Marcelino Lopez
Patrick Weigel 7.9 5.4 1.6 13.0% 19.1% .297 81 123 0.1 Rube Fischer
Brandon White 8.5 5.7 1.0 13.8% 20.7% .296 97 103 0.1 Hal Reniff
Ben Rowen 6.6 1.8 1.8 4.7% 17.1% .296 87 115 0.1 Jose Bautista
Jacob Webb 9.4 5.4 1.4 13.4% 23.2% .288 92 108 0.0 Bill Kelso
Jason Creasy 8.3 3.6 1.6 9.0% 20.8% .302 88 113 -0.1 Steve Comer
Bradley Roney 11.4 6.9 1.4 16.6% 27.6% .290 86 116 -0.2 Franklyn German
Connor Johnstone 5.6 3.3 1.6 8.0% 13.7% .301 80 125 -0.2 Reid Santos

Players are listed with their most recent teams wherever possible. This includes players who are unsigned, players who will miss 2021 due to injury, and players who were released in 2020. So yes, if you see Joe Schmoe, who quit baseball back in August to form a Finnish industrial death metal fourth-wave ska J-pop band, he’s still listed here intentionally.

Both hitters and pitchers are ranked by projected zWAR, which is to say, WAR values as calculated by me, Dan Szymborski, whose surname is spelled with a z. WAR values might differ slightly from those which appear in the full release of ZiPS. Finally, I will advise anyone against — and might karate chop anyone guilty of — merely adding up WAR totals on a depth chart to produce projected team WAR. ZiPS is assuming that the designated hitter will continue in force in 2021; if it does not, there will be widespread minor adjustments across the board come April.

ZiPS is agnostic about future playing time by design. For more information about ZiPS, please refer to this article, or get angry at Dan on Twitter or something.





Dan Szymborski is a senior writer for FanGraphs and the developer of the ZiPS projection system. He was a writer for ESPN.com from 2010-2018, a regular guest on a number of radio shows and podcasts, and a voting BBWAA member. He also maintains a terrible Twitter account at @DSzymborski.

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Antonio Bananas
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Antonio Bananas

The crowd source for Ozuna isn’t much different than his salary last year. They shed a decent amount in payroll via RP. They could sign Ozuna and payroll wouldn’t really change. Backload a Freeman extension. Let Inciarte/Waters/Pache/Duvall fight it out for the 3rd OF spot.

Or sign Pedersen and squeeze in another mid rotation type SP.

Or as a Braves fantasy for me, resign Ozuna and fork out the cash for Bauer. I really believe his knowledge translates to other pitchers. So Bauer’s effect (affect?) on all those young guys could have positive externalities galore.

sadtrombone
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sadtrombone

There’s a little bit of Justin Upton worry with Ozuna. Upton was about the same age, similar question marks on defense, and had a longer record of switching between a total force of nature at the plate and an average hitter. The Angels brought him back and he fell apart a couple years later. But there is a big difference between a 4-year deal at $19M AAV and a 5 year deal at $21M AAV, and I like Ozuna better because even when he’s not locked in he’s still hitting the ball very hard. ZiPs likes Ozuna better than Steamer, probably because of the batted ball data.

Antonio Bananas
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Antonio Bananas

I agree. Body type as well. He doesn’t move very fluidly. I’m not a kinesiologist though so I have no idea what I’m talking about. But he seems to move like an old person if that makes sense.

I’d feel more comfortable if the NL had the DH and you could move him down the defensive spectrum.

Francoeurstein
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Francoeurstein

Kinesiologist here. I agree, he’s very stiff in his upper body, you can really see it when he throws

Antonio Bananas
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Antonio Bananas

Is that symptomatic of something? Hunter pence moved weird as hell but was productive into his early/mid 30s

Francoeurstein
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Francoeurstein

Could be, couldn’t be. Your eyes can only tell you so much – that would be an easier call if we had objective data on his joint arthrokinematics, muscle performance, medical hx, etc

But yea, it’s a coin toss at this point. Some guys can hit forever with bad bodies, some can’t. For every Nelson Cruz there’s a Prince Fielder

LFC Mike
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LFC Mike

Agreed. Put the blank check in front of Bauer and tell him to fill it in. Fried and Anderson can not be your 1 and 2 next year.

Antonio Bananas
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Antonio Bananas

From the looks of it, they’re going after Morton. So a strategy of average veterans in bulk seems where they’re going. I’ve seen potentially acquiring Snell too according to the rumors. The idea of paying Drew Smyly and Blake Snell $11M a piece in 2021 is pretty hilarious.

sadtrombone
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sadtrombone

I saw that the Rays might trade Snell. Between that and losing Morton, this is tripling down on the “we don’t need actual starting pitching” philosophy.

Francoeurstein
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Francoeurstein

Looks like we got Morton, who id argue is more than just an “average veteran”. Also, $11m for Snell is a bargain