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Puttin’ Things In Perspective

Posted by Kris N. on January 10, 2010

Assuming that Hinske was the last piece of the puzzle for the Braves, and that’s a mighty good assumption, it’s now time for one question: Is our team better than last year’s team. Well, I intend to answer that question tonight.

As 2009 stats by position:

2009 C vs. 2010 C

In 2009, three man played behind the plate: Brian McCann, David Ross and Clint Sammons. Regarding Brian McCann, I doubt his number change much. I suspect he’ll hit around 20 HRs with 90 or so RBIs. I expect less games played too. McCann still is tied for the best catcher in baseball (don’t get me start on Mauer) and he SHOULD GET AN ALL STAR START!!! AAAAAAAARRRRRRRRRRRRRRGHHHHHHHHHH!!!!!! And knowing McCann abilities, I’d call his 2009, a down year.

Brian McCann’s 2010 projections:

Scale tips to: 2010

2009 1B vs. 2010 1B

Last year, 1B was a big “kafuddle” (“kafuddle” is one of my made up Yiddish words and, like all Yiddish words, it’s a complaint), splitting time between Adam LaRoche, Martin Prado, Casey Kotchman, Barbaro Canizares, and Greg Norton. Kotchman was a starter on opening day, but, like many of those in his class, he was traded away. Braves got Adam LaRoche in return from the Boston Redsox, and he preformed very well, so well in fact that he priced himself out of Atlanta’s 2010 plans for 1B. The Braves 2009 1B splits seem very hard to duplicate by anyone not named Pujols, Berkman, Fielder or Texiera. Guys you’ll see at 1B include: Troy Glaus, Martin Prado, Eric Hinske. Troy Glaus will get the 1B job out of Spring Training, I believe.  Glaus’s performance comes with a very big question mark. Mainly, “Can he stay healthy?” If he can, he should do a great job, well worth more than his $1.75MM base salary. If he can’t, The short term solution is Prado at 1B and Infante at 2B, long term is Frank Wren will need to find a replacement better than Prado. Having Infante as the 2B starter kills our bench depth.  Below is predictions for Troy Glaus’s 2010 season from Bill James, CHONE, and baseball fans, supplied by Fangraphs.

Scale tips to: 2009

2009 2B vs. 2010 2B

Martin Prado stepped into Kelly Johnson’s shoes mid season last year, and had to have them exchanged for bigger ones because his feet were too big (that’s good enough). Thanks to Omar Infante (.402) and Martin Prado (.331), the average for the Braves 2B BAA was .285 despite Kelly Johnson’s abysmal .215. Prado will get a full season to play 2B (and third and first), so we’ll get to see what he can do over 162 games. 2B in 2010 should include: Martin Prado and Omar Infante and possibly Joe ThurstonDiory Hernandez, and Brooks Conrad.

Martin Prado’s projected 2010:

Scale tips to: 2010

2009 3B vs. 2010 3B

Chipper Jones plain ‘ole stunk up 2009. He could not possible do worse in 2010. Simple as that.

Chipper Jone’s 2010 projections:

I also doubt Martin Prado hits for a higher average than Chipper Jones

Scale tips to: 2010

2009 SS vs. 2010 SS

Yunel Escobar had a breakout season in 2009. He proved to be very clutch, providing a good batting average. In 2010, I look for his power numbers to improve, 15 HRs and .450 SLG%. When he needs a rest, Omar Infante will take over. Infante had a shortened season last year, but was still productive. Call me crazy, but I think Escobar is an All Star next year.

Yunel Escobar 2010 projections:

Scale tips to: 2010

2009 LF vs. 2010 LF

I don’t know if Matt Diaz plays LF, or if Melky Caberea does. I certainly hope it’s Matt Diaz given his weak fielding abilities in RF. For arguement’s sake, I’ll say Melky Cabrera does.

Garret Anderson was bad last year. Offensively, defensively, bad. Whether or not you like the Vasquez trade, you have to admit that Cabrera will do better than Anderson. Offensively, defensively, better. I kind of wish he would bat leadoff so McLouth could be placed in a RBI producing spot.

Melky Cabrera’s 2010 projections:

Scale tips to: 2010

2009 CF vs. 2010 CF

Last year, Jordan Schafer was a black hole for two reasons. The first is a complement for his range in the outfield, and the second reason is because his presence in the lineup sucked the life out of everything.  Schafer didn’t just struggle, he struggled to keep his batting average above the Mendoza line. Frank Wren took care of this problem (or so he thought) by bringing in Nate McLouth (ADD Moment: I hate it when people spell his name “McClouth”). I think we can all agree that McLouth played below his abilities hitting .257/.352/.419/.771. I suspect Schafer will be brought up in September when the rosters expand. I think you’ll see McLouth, Cabrera, Schafer, and Infante. Compared to last years Nate McLouth, Jordan Schafer, Omar Infante, Ryan Church, Reid Gorecki, Matt Diaz, and Gregor Blanco.

Nate McLouth’s 2010 predictions:

Scale tips to: 2010

2009 RF vs. 2010 RF

It seems like every year Matt Diaz proves he deserves a starting spot the following year, yet, he gets shafted. Assuming Braves don’t add a another OF, he’ll finally become a full time starter. Good for him. He is rapidly becoming one of my favorite Atlanta Brave ever. I don’t doubt that he has the ability to hit 15 HRs. It should be put on record that anyone not named “Jeff Francoeur” is better than Francoeur.

Matt Diaz’s 2010 projections:

Scale tips to: 2010

Other Predictions:

David Ross:

Omar Infante:

Eric Hinske:

Jordan Schafer:

Jason Heyward:

Conclusion:

It would certainly seem that 2010 is a better team on paper, everywhere but first. So make note Phillies fans! We are the Atlanta Braves! AND! WE! ARE! COMING! FOR! YOU!!!!!

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One Response to “Puttin’ Things In Perspective”

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