The Atlanta Braves are wearing the struggles of the 2016 season the team currently has just 12 wins in their first 45 games to begin the season. No that’s not a typo, I wish it was, but it’s not! This is what happens when your farm system is bone dry and your big-league team has too many bad contracts and players are underperforming a teardown happens.
The positive thing about this whole situation is the team has been very active in revamping the organization from every angle doing everything in their power to get this team back to their winning ways. The team has made over 100 transactions since this process began in 2014.
The biggest improvement is the farm system, it was frankly nonexistent over the last few years because we were in a win now mode and we fell woefully short of the ultimate goal. Currently we have a system ranked in the top three in baseball with many top prospects that are knocking on the door of big-league stardom. Some of those prospects are in the big leagues right now and thriving I know that might be hard to believe with 12 wins in 45 games, but it’s true trust me!
Matt Wisler one of the key pieces that came back in the Craig Kimbrel Melvin Upton Jr trade. He has been awesome for this pitching staff and looks to be a centerpiece of the Braves starting rotation for many years to come. In 2016 he has a record of 2-3 with a 2.93 ERA.
Those numbers don’t indicate how well he’s pitched this entire year because he is dealing with an offense that couldn’t hit a beach ball right now if they tried. Wisler has pitched into the seventh inning for straight outings and into the eighth inning four times during that span. He has figured out that he belongs in the big leagues and he has that bulldog mentality that a starter needs every time he tows the rubber.
For every young baseball player there is an AW-HA type of moment where something clicks and they never look back. For Wisler I believe it was when he came out of the bullpen against Washington something happened and he just started attacking hitters and just said here it is try and hit it.
He’s taken that mentality ever since then and he is not scared of hitters making contact. Whereas before I believe the pressure of coming to a new organization and living up to the big expectations of being a top prospect caused him to try to hard and nimble around the strike zone because he wasn’t sure of himself and that got him in trouble with big-league hitters.
He is now oozing with confidence and that death stare on the mound showing opponents, he is not backing down at all. He also is willing to learn anything that will help them improve he talked to Braves legend Tom Glavine about his changeup and got some great tips that he’s brought out to the mound adding another weapon to his arsenal. At just 23 years old his willingness to learn and evolve as a pitcher shows commitment and determination to become a perennial All-Star and prove the Padres were wrong to part ways with him.
The team is no doubt wearing the results of the 2016 season in preparation for the future. The fact is, no one is enjoying how the season has played out so far, but slowly but surely we are seeing the pipeline produce great talent that will be in the big leagues for a long time. Watching Wisler develop and mature has been amazing to watch and I can’t wait for the other prospects to breakthrough and become mainstays in Atlanta for decades.