The Atlanta Braves season has been full of moving parts, as the team continues to build towards the future. John Hart has been extremely busy reshaping this organization since taking over this off-season, he has made 120 transactions this season and we are just entering August. He has done an awesome job in restocking our farm system with many young arms. Some of those include Shelby Miller, Tyrell Jenkins, Matt Wisler, and Mike Foltynewicz and many more. The key to any organization is pitching and John Hart has bolstered a farm system that was ranked in the bottom third of major league baseball and turned it into a top 10 if not top five system in a matter of months. It is definitely a painful process for fans to watch because the major-league team isn’t where we want them to be, but we are trending in the right direction.
My thoughts on recent Moves
This past week was another whirlwind for the players in the Braves organization as the team traded veterans Kelly Johnson and Juan Uribe to the New York Mets for once again young pitching. It was understood at the beginning of the season that veteran players are probably going to be moved at some point during the season because of the rebuilding mentality the Braves took at the beginning of the season. A little bit more a shocking move was when the Braves and Dodgers pulled off a 13-player blockbuster, which included Alex Wood, Luis Avilán Jim Jonson and top prospect José Peraza for highly touted Cuban prospect 3rd baseman Hector Olivera left-handed reliever Paco Rodriguez and left-handed pitcher Zach Byrd. When this move first went down I was quite upset that we gave up Wood is just 24 years of age and was under team control until 2020, but baseball is a business and sometimes moves are made that fans don’t like.
However, the one thing that the Braves are lacking is a few feared hitters to protect Freddie Freeman in the lineup and that is what the team hopes Olivera will be able to do once he is in the big leagues. He is hitting .348 and a .392 in 19 minor league games a great start him in his baseball career, hopefully that translates to the big leagues and he helps the Braves win ball games for many years to come. He is already 30 years of age, which is a little old to just be starting your big-league journey, but he is thought to have a superstar ceiling like many Cuban players do.
This trade that you won’t be able to judge for at least five years because all of these players are continuing to develop. Yes, it seems the Braves gave up a ton for a hitting prospect, but you can gamble when you’ve stockpiled as much young pitching as the Braves have. It is smart as an organization if you are not sure that a pitcher like Alex wood will hold up with his funky mechanics and it is said that he has lost 2 miles an hour of velocity on his sinker so it’s best to sell high on a pitcher that you feel might not live up to the potential that the team has set for that player. The reality hitters like Carlos Correa, Kris Bryant, Kyle Schwarber, and Mike Trout don’t grow on trees. When the opportunity presents itself to acquire a hitter you think could be a cornerstone in your organization and I think that’s what the Braves did with this trade even though it might sting right now.
It’s a rebuild that has been proactive and makes a ton of sense and I love the direction the team is going. We now have some pieces that we can build around in Shelby Miller, Freddie Freeman, Andrelten Simmons, Cameron Maybin and veteran Nick Markakis. We have also been able to create financial flexibility for us to be able to sign and acquire some hitters to go with that young pitching that we have stockpiled. It might be difficult to watch the final two months of the season with the roster the way it is constructed, but you’re not going to get better if you don’t make moves. It’s been interesting so far I can’t wait to see what else John Hart has up his sleeve!! GO Braves