As the 2021 season approaches, we continue our look at all 30 MLB teams with the Atlanta Braves. And on this piece, we examine The State of the Atlanta Braves.
Resigning Marcell Ozuna
The big offensive offseason move for the Atlanta Braves was resigning Marcell Ozuna. Ozuna was coming off a monster, albeit, shortened 2020 campaign. A campaign in which Ozuna would slash a career-best .338/.431/.636 with a National League-best 18 homeruns and 56 RBIs. Bringing Ozuna back helps the Braves offense tremendously by protecting the reigning NL MVP, Freddie Freeman.
Signing Charlie Morton
Charlie Morton is coming off a successful 2020 postseason run with the Tampa Bay Rays. And yet, the Rays would not decide to reunite with Morton. This was to the benefit of the Atlanta Braves. Atlanta would sign Morton for his same $15 Million option and add another solid starter to the rotation.
Signing Drew Smyly
The Braves would also add Drew Smyly this offseason. And he will likely plug right into the rotation. For Atlanta, the starting rotation has always been their calling card. Adding another capable starter further aids that cause.
State of the Rotation
As we said, the rotation has been the Braves calling card since the 90s, from Maddux, Glavine, and Smoltz to Max Fried, Mike Soroka, and Sean Newcomb. Now, if the current three starters turn into the former three, Atlanta would be ecstatic. However, they could easily be a dangerous threesome in the National League East. Add in the aforementioned newly signed Morton and Smyly, and the Braves could have the best five-man rotation in Major League Baseball.
State of the Bullpen
The Atlanta Braves bullpen may not have standout names, but they have standout arms. Guys like Luke Jackson and Will Smith will likely command the late innings. But they have even more assets throughout all leverage levels of the game. The Braves will battle atop the NL East for supremacy. And having a bullpen that can hold leads is critically important to that cause.
State of the Defense
The Atlanta Braves have some strong defensive parts to this team. Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson, and Ender Inciarte are all high-quality defenders. For teams to be successful in Major League Baseball, they need to score runs while attempting to give up the least amount of runs possible. One way to give up the least amount of runs is by catching the ball. And the Atlanta Braves are a team capable of catching the ball. Now yes, there are weak spots defensively for this team as well. But the majority of the team are plus defenders, which should help them not lose games.
State of the Offense
The reason that the Atlanta Braves are the National League East’s favorites is because of their offense. Atlanta has the reigning NL MVP, Freddie Freeman, not to mention a 2020 top-10 MVP finisher in Marcell Ozuna and one of the best players in Ronald Acuña Jr. This Atlanta Braves team will be an offensive force in 2021. And they will need it because the NL East will be a dog fight all season long.
State of the Franchise
The Atlanta Braves are a historic franchise in Major League Baseball. They’ve had some legendary names play for them over the years. And the team they field now has some players on a legendary path. This team will likely battle and compete all season long for the division and the National League pennant.