Braves in Rebuilding Process to Reach Post Season
The Atlanta Braves tear-down and rebuild process has been as long as it has been trying for an impatient fan base that had come to expect their beloved boys of summer to be perennial contenders in the National League. It wasn’t all that long ago that the Braves secured a professional sports record of fourteen consecutive division titles and playoff appearances.
But the playoff drought has loomed large since recent Hall of Fame inductee, Chipper Jones, suited up one last time at the now non-existent Turner Field for a play-in game that saw one of the most controversial calls (the elusive infield fly rule) in Major League Baseball playoff history.
“It’s a bird…It’s a plane…It’s @cculberson16!” pic.twitter.com/M2gVPoz7m9
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 9, 2018
SunTrust Park, the new stadium and home of the Braves, just opened its gates for the second ever season on, and though expectations for this 2018 season are generally low, Atlanta is off to a 5-2 star. This is including an impressive series win over their rivals, the Washington Nationals, who are the favorites to win the National League East by a mile. Betting odds pertaining to the Braves in this 2018 season have them finishing under .500, and third in the National League East.
All-star Braves first basemen, Freddie Freeman, was recently quoted as saying that this team missing the postseason would be a disappointment, despite the general consensus among the talking heads that the Braves won’t be in a position to pose any real threat in the National League East until the 2019 season.
However, if Atlanta can continue playing anywhere close to what they are (leading all of MLB in scored with 56) the loaded Nationals may have a real fight in their hands in the East.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 7, 2018
Offseason pickup, Preston Tucker, is batting an impressive .495 through the first week and has provided that missing power bat to compliment Freeman, while young, lightning-quick shortstop, Ozzie Albies, has provided some electric moments reminiscent of a similar-in-stature shortstop for the defending World Series Champion Houston Astros, Jose Altuve.
Also of note is former top draft pick and metro-Atlanta native, Dansby Swanson, whose career in a Braves uniform got off to a rocky start, as he struggled mightily throughout his rookie season, and seemed like he might not work out in the majors.
The ever-energetic second baseman has begun his sophomore campaign on a tear and was a home run short of the cycle the other night at a snowy Coors field against the Colorado Rockies. Swanson is batting .370 through the first seven games of the season and is one of five Braves with a batting average of .370 or higher.
— Atlanta Braves (@Braves) April 8, 2018
Looming on the diamond horizon for the Braves is baseball’s top prospect and potential young superstar, Ronald Acuna Jr., who would have started on opening day, but the organization gains a full year of contractual control by waiting to debut him next week. If he lives up to the hype, and he has at every level of minor league ball to which he’s been promoted thus far, the Braves may be cooking with gas. Freddie Freeman wasn’t taken all that seriously when he asserted that his team could compete this year, but their stellar start has people talking.