Braves Journal, The House That Mac Built

Scarred, but smarter.

11 Nov

Where Do We Go From Here? Outfield

The Incumbents

The incumbents should be familiar; they are the same incumbents as last season – Matt KempEnder Inciarte, and Nick Markakis.

In his 3 seasons as the Braves right fielder Nick Markakis has hit 24 home runs in 2040 plate appearances.  This seems like a potential area for improvement.

Markakis turns 34 on the 17th of November, and although he has not posted fWAR above 1.5 while in Atlanta, at least he has managed not to decline too much, so far. The 2017 offensive numbers include a .275/.354/.384 slash line, and 1/3 of his career Braves home run total.

Matt Kemp dropped from 35 home runs in 2016 to 19 in an injury plagued 2017. Kemp turned 33 in September, and his age and injury history makes a complete bounce back less than likely.  He posted a .275/.318/.463 and a calculated fWAR of -0.5 in 2017.

Ender Inciarte turned in a .304/.350/.409 slash line, and nabbed his 2nd consecutive Gold Glove in center field on his way to posting a 3.0 fWAR in 2017.  Inciarte turned 27 in October, and is in the prime of his career.

Others

Lane Adams got his first significant MLB playing time in 2017, at age 27.  After 3519 nondescript minor league plate appearances, Adams posted a .275/.339/.468 slash line in 122 plate appearances in Atlanta.  He stole 10 bases and played all 3 outfield positions.  His background suggests that his career may not be long, but at his peak he seems to be an adequate 4th outfielder.  The Braves would do well to acquire some more upside guys in their primes.

Danny Santana posted a 3.2 fWAR for the Twins during his rookie season in 2014; he hasn’t posted a positive fWAR since.  Santana also played all 3 outfield positions, as well as some 2nd base, and has MLB experience at SS and 3rd base.

Santana just turned 27, and someone may want to take a gamble that he can regain his rookie magic.  Even if he did, his offensive skill set is redundant on a Braves team with Inciarte and Ozzie Albies, and his career high 7 home runs would not be what the Braves need from a corner outfielder or 3rd baseman.  He could battle for a bench spot.

Prospects

Ronald Acuna rocketed through 3 levels of minor league ball in 2017, recording a .325/.374/.552 slash line across 612 A+, AA, and AAA plate appearances, with the A ball numbers actually dragging him down.  I trend toward the cautious side with prospects, but it’s hard not to get excited about Acuna, who looks like he could be a legit .290 MLB hitter right now, at age 20.  Acuna hit 18(edit) 21 home runs in his 632 plate appearances, which indicates initially he may be more of a mega-Markakis, although it is reasonable to expect him to grow into even more power.

Defensively, Acuna has the ability to play center field, although that is not where the Braves’ current need is.  His bat should be sufficient to play a corner position if wanted.  Acuna is the Braves top prospect according to MLB.com, and the #5 prospect in all of baseball.  MLB.com 2017 Top Prospects

Cristian Pache is the Braves 11th ranked prospect. MLB.com 2017 Atlanta Top Prospects  Another center fielder, Pache spent 2017 as an 18 year old at low A Rome.  He can reach our destination, but he’s still a ways away.

Dustin Peterson is the Braves 15th ranked prospect, and spent 2017 as a 22 year old in AAA.  My hope was that Peterson would improve on the 12 home runs he hit in 524 at bats in 2016 at AA Mississippi.  Instead, Peterson broke a hamate bone at the beginning of the season and managed only 1 home run in 314 at bats in 2017.  Presumably, Peterson will repeat AAA in 2018, and is probably at least 2 years away from demonstrating the kind of power desirable in a corner outfielder, if he ever does.

Free Agents

http://www.spotrac.com/mlb/free-agents/outfield/

The top names are J.D. Martinez and Jay Bruce, relatively young at age 30, and coming off 45 and 36 home run seasons respectively. Apparently Martinez is attempting to parlay 232 at bats in Arizona into $200 million.  Another tier includes Carlos Gomez, Lorenzo Cain, and Carlos Gonzalez.  Familiar, aged, zero upside names include Jose Bautista, Jayson Werth, and Curtis Granderson.

With Acuna on the way, it seems unlikely to me that the Braves sign a big ticket free agent outfielder unless they can dump both Kemp and Markakis.

Trades

If the Marlins want to trade Christian Yelich or Marcell Ozuna, we should stop whatever it is we are doing and help them accomplish that.  http://www.sportingnews.com/mlb/news/mlb-trade-rumors-athletics-christian-yelich-marcell-ozuna-marlins/167opfm6nb1g51jt59nkp34sk1

The Braves will undoubtedly try to continue to trade Kemp and/or Markakis. Ryan C. collected some possibilities for Kemp here.  https://walkoffwalk.net/2017/11/08/matt-kemp-trade-proposals/

Options

The Braves could stand pat.  Although it is widely expected Acuna will force their hand, he could have a rough spring training, or the Braves could decide to jerk him around.  (You know spring training doesn’t mean anything, and I know spring training doesn’t mean anything, but someone forgot to tell the people running the 30 clubs who make decisions based upon it every year that it doesn’t mean anything.)

More likely, Acuna joins the outfield at some point, in which case options include to trade or otherwise cut one of Kemp or Markakis, or use Kemp and Markakis in some kind of platoon.  Another possibility would be to trade Inciarte, who would actually fetch a return, and hand center field to Acuna.  I would favor that option only if it solved another immediate need.  Players in their prime are who we should be acquiring.

If we get greedy, we could also hold out hope to sign a free agent or make a trade, and be shed of both Kemp and Markakis.

I’m tired of zero upside placeholders.  Get it done, yet to be determined front office leader.

96 Responses to “Where Do We Go From Here? Outfield”

  1. 1
    ryan c Says:

    Thanks for the shoutout! Braves aren’t in an easy position when it comes to Acuna. The fanbase has never needed a shot in the arm more than now so I think Acuna starts in RF Opening Day, although the smart decision would be to hold him down for a month to retain a year. I’m not sure Braves are in position to do the “smart” thing.

    While unlikely, there are possibilities that Kemp gets dealt, but it’s going to take an equally bad contract (or packaging prospects) to get it done. Founder of WOW suggested Ian Kennedy for Kemp and that makes some sense on its face, although I’m still in favor of Rusney Castillo for Kemp.

    Amidst a bus crash and breaking his wrist was D-Pete’s one good year… and it wasn’t even great. It’s my opinion that the Braves fanbase put too much stock in a “Markakis at MLB” slash line. He doesn’t have the speed to play CF so the bat’s going to have to come a long way.

    I like Lane Adams and I’d like to see him get more opportunities. He’s changed nearly everything about his approach to hitting in the last year and it’d be nice to see if he really figured something out.

  2. 2
    blazon Says:

    Rusty, you are keeping us well oiled and going forward. Fine work, thank you.

  3. 3
    blazon Says:

    Ronald Acuna
    a month for a year for us who want sooner?
    now arrogance at the AFL
    for many pundits that bodes well.

  4. 4
    blazon Says:

    Othani signs with Elon Musk
    fresh batteries each dawn and dusk
    robotic arms to spare
    production though – best he beware.

    25 years on.

    AI
    the first such GM, will we give it a try?
    writes his own code
    a hundred scouting drones will work the road.

  5. 5
    coop Says:

    Applause, Rusty S. Thank you once again for the well-written and logically conceived analysis. Have you thrown your hat into the Braves GM pool?

  6. 6
    Game, Blauser Says:

    @1 The Braves are *ABSOLUTELY* in a position to do the “smart thing” with Acuna and keep him down in the minors somewhere between a few weeks and a few months to start the season whilst Kemp and Markakis are ostensibly healthy and playing the role of Veteran Presents (this assumes the Braves don’t dump either this offseason). Management has been happy to pretend that Kemp and Markakis are worthy starting outfielders for years now; they can certainly keep up the charade for just a little while longer in service of the Braves’ longer-term success.

    Here are some facts:
    1) Ronald Acuna is 19 years old.
    2) Ronald Acuna has logged fewer than 250 ABs at AA and 250 ABs at AAA.
    3) It is extremely unlikely that the 2018 Braves are going to contend for the NL East crown.

    Given Acuna’s extreme youth and lack of high-level experience, along with the fact that the 3 starting OF positions are ostensibly occupied, I’d say the Braves have very easy PR cover for starting Acuna in AAA in 2018. Also, as a fan, I’m in favor of the Braves doing everything they can to showcase Kemp/Cakes in an attempt to get rid of them on the most favorable possible terms, and in favor of the Braves doing what they can to prepare Acuna for competition at a level where he can’t dominate on the basis of superior talent. Acuna can/should/will play the majority of the 2018 season at the MLB level, barring injury or something unexpected, but if the Braves are smart they won’t start him in the majors (unless he’s signed to a long-term contract by then).

  7. 7
    John R. Says:

    @6, I’m with you on this, though I think Spring Training will be a determinant. If Kemp and/or Cakes have a terrible spring while Acuna continues to rip it off, it perhaps becomes harder. Conversely, if Kemp and/or Cakes has a solid spring, it seems like the obvious move.

    But here’s hoping our GM can do something in the offseason to move one or both of them. Oh, wait…

  8. 8
    ryan c Says:

    @6
    I’m not stating what I want but stating what I think and I think the FO will see it differently.

  9. 9
    Rob Cope Says:

    @8

    Sadly, and take it from me, but I think you’re being too optimistic about this FO. What this rebuild has showed us is that Liberty Media (and McGuirk and JS and whomever) will do what’s best for them, not placade fans. Let’s be honest; if they just ate BUpton and CJ’s deals, would we even have rebuilt? Probably not. If they can take a $20M year of Acuna’s ark and reduce it to $400K, which is probably the result of getting that extra year of service from Acuna, I highly doubt they’d turn that down because it makes the fans unhappy.

  10. 10
    Rob Cope Says:

    EDIT: I think my numbers were really off there. If you hold him back a month, and thus keep him out of Super 2, how much money are we talking?

  11. 11
    Rob Cope Says:

    Some Stanton thoughts:

    -He currently has surplus value. He will make $25M in 2018, and he had a 6.9 fWAR and 7.6 bWAR season last year. Any major league team would be so lucky to have that proportion at one position (not spread out over the diamond).
    -His contract is really not that crazy. He will make $32M per in his early thirties, and he will be at $25M through age-37 with a $10M buyout in age-38. Where will salaries be at that time? If WAR gets to, say, $10M per, then would he be a 2.5 WAR player at that time?
    -How much will he generate in revenue? He’s a draw.
    -Is there a single player available that would instantly flip the scope of this team? As mentioned, an Acuna/Inciarte/Stanton outfield would be almost prolific. And with the key problem is this team being that you’re so committed to so many roster spots (in theory) that you need one player to significantly exceed the average player at that position, he’s your guy.

  12. 12
    Rob Cope Says:

    -Matt Kemp and Kyle Muller for Ian Kennedy
    -Nick Markakis and Rio Ruiz for the baseballs traded for Kerry Ligtenberg
    -Fried, Newcomb, Anderson, and Dustin Peterson for Stanton and his entire contract
    -Sign Neil Walker

    Inciarte
    Albies
    Freeman
    Stanton
    Acuna
    Flowers
    Dansby
    Walker

    Teheran
    Folty
    Gohara
    Kennedy
    Sims

    Usual bullpen names

    You’re welcome, America.

  13. 13
    Game, Blauser Says:

    @11 Do we really think Stanton will be able to play defense on a near-daily basis once he’s, say, as old as Kemp is now? Much like Kemp, Stanton is a huge guy whose body takes a lot of punishment in the course of playing OF. Kemp was extremely durable for the majority of his career, and now (obviously) he is not. Stanton has already been through a lot of injuries, he’s only averaged about 125 games a season since becoming a regular, and he’s not getting any younger.

    Stanton’s remaining contract is 3 years / $77M (then a player opt-out) then 7 / $218M (or 8/$233M if club option exercised). Even at $25M – $30M / season he projects to be a bargain but if he’s hurt (something that’s happened to him every season except 2011 and 2017) then that’s a huge portion of the payroll on the DL. Obviously, he’d be an amazing upgrade for the Braves but aside from the contract concerns, we’d have to overpay to get him and I don’t see the Braves making a move like that. Stanton is a much better fit for a high-payroll team like the Red Sox/Yanks than he would be for the Braves.

  14. 14
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    You can hide an aging defensive Mike Stanton in LF if you have prime time Inciarte and Acuna (and Pache) on the other two spots.

  15. 15
    Rob Cope Says:

    With his contract, and his current hitting (or even close to it), I think you could easily unload him and his contract to an AL team. Are we the best fit? Absolutely not. The Green Monster and the DH make him a perfect target for Boston, of course, but it really just depends on what the Braves want to do. If they feel going from Nick Markakis to Stanton can put them over the top, then they should be willing to make a Chris Sale-type deal to get him. And is Boston going to keep gutting the farm in 5-for-1 deals for elite players? It’s Dumbrowski, so you never know, but they’ve gotten to be running out of flexibility to do so.

  16. 16
    coop Says:

    It really depends on what Stanton wants to do, since the money is on contract and he has a full no trade clause (I think).

  17. 17
    csg Says:

    Braves hired Anthopoulos as GM. To be announced at winter meetings.

  18. 18
    timo Says:

    @17
    https://www.mlbtraderumors.com/2017/11/braves-to-hire-alex-anthopoulos-as-general-manager.html

  19. 19
    Mikemc Says:

    Hope.

  20. 20
    sdp Says:

    I guess that sounds to be the best hire out of all the names we heard, Dayton not withstanding.

  21. 21
    Smitty Says:

    Anthopoulos is getting good reviews

  22. 22
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Anthoupoulos is a wheeler and dealer.

  23. 23
    blazon Says:

    Alex Anthopolous
    italics andswapordeduce
    Socratic parameters
    applied to the signing of promising amateurs.

  24. 24
    blazon Says:

    @23

    how much will this Grecian urn?

  25. 25
    Adam R Says:

    Yeah, this is probably a good hire. He has Rebuilt It before. He won’t fixate on our pitching prospects, so get ready to see trades.

  26. 26
    coop Says:

    @24: You Brits are so romantic.

  27. 27
    coop Says:

    MLBTR labels Dansby as on the cusp of a breakout. I hope. However, I fear a misprint, wherein the text should read “on the cusp of a washout.”

    The proof is in the playing, regardless of hype.

  28. 28
    ryan c Says:

    IMO, Alex Anthopolous was best cast scenario. Excited!

  29. 29
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    MLBTR labels Dansby as on the cusp of a breakout. I hope. However, I fear a misprint, wherein the text should read “on the cusp of a washout.”

    It must be exhausting to live on this constant roller coaster ride of hope and despair. He’s a 24 year old kid. He had an impressive debut in limited innings and a rough sophomore slump season. He clearly has talent, both offensively and defensively. No, he’s not going to be Carlos Correa, any more than Ozzy Albies is going to be Jose Altuve. Generational talent of that magnitude is seriously hard to find. (Cross your fingers and hope really hard that Acuna managers something akin to Altuve’s brilliance.)

    The proof is in the playing, regardless of hype.

    Well, yes. That’s how prospects and young talent tends to work.

  30. 30
    Adam R Says:

    coop dialed it down somewhat in the stretch where Dansby was playing well. I don’t take issue with riding a guy who’s sucking out there. That’s part of being a fan.

    It’s the pretending that Dansby didn’t have a track record before this year that’s annoying. What did he do before 2017 that could make anyone think he’s just “hype”?

  31. 31
    coop Says:

    What do his minor league stats say? How are they that much better than Camargo’s?

  32. 32
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    @30 If you dig deep, his track record never should have led you to believe he’d be a superstar. Basically the Diamondbacks blew it.

  33. 33
    td Says:

    Anthopolous sounds like the city where a superhero comes from. I could never pronounce Coppy’s full name and Anthopolous is only slightly better in that regard. Seriously, he sounds encouraging. Good to hear that it was done before the winter meetings.

  34. 34
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    He was a star at Vandy, in a very competitive college league. As a college draftee he was old enough to promote (from a mental maturity perspective) when the team had an obvious hole to be filled. He was stellar in his debut – but no one should have projected him to be that good for his entire career. He had a very rough second season – but no one should project him to be that bad for his entire career. He’s not going to be ARod. And of course, he’s not Andrelton, which is about 90% of what drives a certain element of Braves fan to ride him so hard these days.

  35. 35
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    For folks who wanted to see signs of Schuerholz ceding whatever “control” he had of the organization further, the Anthopoulos hire should be a joyful thing. He was one of the very first wave of “absurdly young stat geek GM’s” in MLB, he has a strong track record as a GM in Toronto, and he’s been in a holding-pattern position waiting for a new GM tenure the last two years in the front offices of the very stat friendly and prospect driven, World Series representative Dodgers.

    For the more conservative folks out there, at least he’s over 40 now.

  36. 36
    John R. Says:

    Get er’ done, Thoppy.

  37. 37
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @36

    [slow golf clap]

  38. 38
    Adam R Says:

    @31, Camargo is statistically the opposite of Dansby. He had proven nothing until 2017 — which is not to say we shouldn’t give him a chance to show he’s for real.

    But Dansby has proven himself, except for in 2017. Sticking with Dansby’s offensive stats as a pro…

    In 2015, in a 100 PA small sample, he hit .289/.394/.482, and he walked as much as he struck out. He had a .399 wOBA. Pretty damned good, but he was a very polished 21 year-old in low A ball, so you’d expect from him what he delivered.

    At age 22, Dansby went from high-A to the majors. He hit .333/.441/.526 in another 100 PAs, walking more than he struck out. He then hit .261/.342/.402 in almost 400 AA PAs, walking less and striking out more, still with a wOBA of .345.

    Then we know what Dansby did when he was called up.

    At age 22, Camargo hit .267/.304/.379 in AA with 500 PAs. He struck out way more than he walked and was not called up.

    Dansby is simply the best, most proven player in our system at his position. Because of his track record, he deserves the first shot at figuring it out after some stumbles. The Braves could use a few more “superstars,” to borrow some nebulous terminology from Chief, but if Acuna and Albies can join Freddie in that echelon, we could be fine if Dansby (or Camargo) is merely above average.

  39. 39
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @38

    The funny (strange, not funny-haha) thing is that the Camargo enthusiasts are over doing this winter precisely what the Swanson fans over did last winter; stacking stupid expectations on a very small sample from “the new guy.”

  40. 40
    gaz Says:

    If Anthopolous coming on board means Hart is permanently kicked to the golf course and Scherholtz has no say in what happens anymore then count me in. They had to go outside the system, this is a big upgrade on the Johns.

  41. 41
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    “the Johns” is still wrong. Not that you are going to listen this time, but you’re still being a conspiratorial buffoon. John Schuerholz has had virtually zero input into the day to day operations of the Braves as a baseball franchise for years. But you need that straw man out there, buddy. So you go. You do you, man.

  42. 42
    Dusty Says:

    Happy AA day everyone!! Love the move.

  43. 43
    glizz Says:

    The Furcal Rule doesn’t apply to GMs, I guess? Hope we don’t need a new glossary entry.

  44. 44
    gaz Says:

    I really don’t know what you’re talking about. All I’m saying is AA with complete autonomy is a much better situation than some weird power sharing arrangement between 3 guys named John. What conspiracy am I even referring to?

  45. 45
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    My apologies if I misread, but I assumed your “the Johns” comment was meant to imply that John Schuerholz still participated in that “power sharing arrangement” in any meaningful way. Nothing we’ve seen recently indicates that JS is involved in anything but senior level decisions re: real estate investments (i.e. SunTrust Park and The Battery) and managing the franchise’s status with MLB home office (as a member of the leadership committees in MLB.)

  46. 46
    Rob Cope Says:

    I think I’m right there with you @44. The logical conclusion of a strong GM hire like AA is that the org chart becomes a little more clear. Not sure I call this a conspiracy so much as 3 people that have shared a GM title all being in the same front office and that being confusing to fans when something bad happens and you’re looking to assign responsibility.

    I watched a MLB Network special on the Indians in the ’90s, and it left me with a slightly different opinion on Hart. Obviously the special was meant to paint him in the best light possible, but I don’t know if I’m really ready to say that Hart has no value in an advisory position. But AA being hired seems to put the pieces in place. As you can tell, I’m a fan of this hire a good bit.

    Not having a GM made me also think that there was a significant hammer coming in punishment, but I have more optimism that’s not the case with a quality GM to come in to steer the shape. Right or wrong, that’s the way I was perceiving it. I had figured an established

    I’m interested to see if AA answers any specific questions about the current status of the roster and farm in his initial press conference. I’d also be inclined to think he’ll rely on Hart quite a bit in the early outset.

  47. 47
    Rob Cope Says:

    Camargo will work itself out. If he’s your OD 3B, then it’s a moot point. If not, he’s backing up 3 positions, and you have to love that option in all 3 places. If Dansby plays poorly, then Camargo will get his shot at SS. But ultimately, you want both of these players being starting SS quality. That backup position gets 300+ PAs a year, so you need someone as talented as Camargo seems to be. At the end of the day, we’re arguing about Dansby getting 550 PAs vs. Camargo getting 300+ PAs or vice versa. I don’t know really how much that makes a difference, and it’s not like there’s a severely marked difference in each player’s upside. Neither will be Carlos Correa or anything.

  48. 48
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    John Hart was brought in as a senior advisor to the Braves in 2013-14. This was the same senior advisory role he served from 2006-2013 with the Rangers, after handing over GM duties in Texas to Jon Daniels. At the time he was doing more MLB Network studio analysis work than any real GM’ing for the Rangers.

    Hart was brought in mainly because of his very long (back into JS’s Kansas City days) friendship with John Shuerholz.

    Of note, Hart was hired prior to Frank Wren being fired. He was brought on to do the same “let’s just be the old boy brain trust while Frank does the real work” position he had in Texas. His first couple of years happened to coincide with Wren’s final seasons, and he was generally the go-to exec who negotiated all of teh long term contract extensions to young players during that time frame.

    From all accounts, he was meant to be a hands off “father figure” for Coppy’s wunderkind GM grooming, but failed to be involved enough to help smooth out Cop’s rough edges. He’s not needed in that role with Thoppy (all credit where due), who is more senior, more established, and has already built solid relationships around the league for himself. As such, the Braves have one of two things they can do with Hart. They can fire him, just to say they did, and alienate him and his friend JS, who is their lifeline to the power structures in MLB’s home offices. Or they can give him the slow release, let him work out his final year as a golf semi-pro, and give him a pocket watch next year.

    Coppy fans who want some higher-up’s head as well would prefer the former. I think the latter is the better organizational play.

  49. 49
    Rusty S. Says:

    @2, 5 – Thanks guys.

  50. 50
    Donny Says:

    @47 Fully agree with your POV on this.

    I also don’t know how we, as a group of fans, have come to this place where our prospects are being measured against the league’s superstars. Every player is a unique story. He is more than the sum of his stats. I can’t imagine what the experience today would be like if we had a collection of players like we did in the early ’90s. Maybe it was the absence of social media that allowed us to just enjoy the surge of rookie talent without worrying about guys becoming Ken Griffey Jr. and Frank Thomas, etc. Javy Lopez was never Mike Piazza, you know? :)

  51. 51
    Donny Says:

    Jeff Blauser was the 8th overall selection, and he didn’t become Barry Larkin.

    Just put together a roster of good ballplayers. Don’t worry about them becoming people they’re not.

  52. 52
    Rob Cope Says:

    We were bottom 5 in SP ERA, bullpen ERA, and team SLG. The shortstop is not the problem.

  53. 53
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I’m still pissed that Andruw never became Willie Mays.

  54. 54
    krussell Says:

    @52, the shortstop isn’t helping the solution either. Mostly all we’re asking for is “don’t suck”. A left side of Swanson and Camargo is probably going to suck.

  55. 55
    spike Says:

    @36, Matt Chernoff just used your line on-air.

  56. 56
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Given the hiring of Thoppy, I’ve updated my list of “untouchable” Braves prospects:

    1. Ronald Acuna

  57. 57
    sdp Says:

    @56: Indeed.

  58. 58
    John R. Says:

    @55, Did he credit me? And who is Matt Chernoff?

  59. 59
    spike Says:

    No. He is the afternoon Drive guy on sports radio a.m. 680

  60. 60
    Rob Cope Says:

    Very interested to see Thoppy’s first draft with the draft position we have. Perhaps it’s like the 2010 draft where he drafted Aaron Sanchez, Brady Singer, Thor, Sam Dyson, Dalton Pompey, and Kris Bryant. If only he signed.

    With that said, I’m doing a write up right now for the 2015 draft, and Coppy definitely had some noteworthy names from that draft already surfacing. 2016 and 2017 also look similarly promising.

  61. 61
    Rob Cope Says:

    It hasn’t been mentioned here yet, but in the press conference, they said that Hart has taken a “special advisor” role and has relinquished control of the team. So, at the end of the day, Hart is basically gone and we have indeed hired someone who has essentially replaced Hart. It’s just Thoppy instead of Dayton.

    At the end of all this, and let’s say it culminates in some long postseason runs and maybe even a World Series, I do fear that Hart will get less credit than he deserves for what will have been a successful rebuild. I fear JS, Coppy, and Thoppy will get all the credit, and Hart will be an afterthought, if he’s a thought at all. I don’t think that’s particularly fair.

  62. 62
    John R. Says:

    @59, No biggie. But I’m sure this isn’t the first time Braves Journal has been used by sportswriters or sports pundits to gather material. (Assuming that is what’s been done. I’m not THAT clever. But it’s likely.)

  63. 63
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Oh. I promise you, they have been lurking since before Mac passed.

  64. 64
    spike Says:

    Most definitely. I recall several very specific instances.

  65. 65
    Adam R Says:

    I forget which broadcaster sang Luis Avilan’s name to the tune of “Feliz Navidad” a season after that joke was played out.

    I fear JS, Coppy, and Thoppy will get all the credit, and Hart will be an afterthought, if he’s a thought at all. I don’t think that’s particularly fair.

    What in the hell did they put in this MLB Network special about the Indians??

  66. 66
    Td Says:

    Kind of cool to think that Braves Journal and the comments here can be a source for major media. I have heard several discussions on Braves broadcast that I think were highly influenced by Braves Journal.

  67. 67
    Rob Cope Says:

    @65 Haha. I do think it’s best that he’s in a (very) different role, but it’s hard to not acknowledge that Coppy gets a disproportionate amount of credit for the condition of the farm system and Hart seems to get no credit.

  68. 68
    krussell Says:

    Credit? More like blame, lol.

  69. 69
    Adam R Says:

    Didn’t we just go through a whole ordeal where it was established that Hart is kind of an absentee executive? Does he get credit for benign neglect?

    A small part of me wants AA to blow everything up and rebuild anew, just because it would be funny on here. But that he probably won’t do that — indeed, the fact that someone of his caliber is here at all — suggests we’re not the shitshow that @68 and the miserablist contingent on here likes to pretend we are.

  70. 70
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    Thoppy looks at Atlanta and sees a moderate to upper middle class payroll (currently unused but available), huge “cap space”, real talent in the next couple of years from the minors, good placeholders elsewhere, and a gazillion other prospects to package for trades. If we believe Coppys failing was his bad people skill and that limited trades from strength (prospects) to weakness (mlb talent ow) AA is a kid in a candy store to fix that.

  71. 71
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    WHY HASNT HE TRADED FOR MIKE TROUT ALREAD?!??!

    /tad

  72. 72
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    It’s weird that I like *Thoppy*. I usually hate most everything.

  73. 73
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    I make a motion that we heretofore refer to John Hart only as “Hoppy” and John Schuerholz only as “Schloppy.”

  74. 74
    Hap Says:

    second.

  75. 75
    gaz Says:

    The idea that we should feel sorry for John Hart is absurd. The man comes in basically to fire Wren, then babysit Copollela and is too busy playing golf to realize he’s giving Chris Johnson an extension and his young executive is breaking every rule in the book and is too stupid to cover his tracks.

    Yeah, color me upset when the inevitable Braves title comes and we’re not all singing Hart’s name in the streets.

  76. 76
    Rob Cope Says:

    Is anyone feeling sorry for John Hart? Follow up question: should we decide to sing John Hart’s name in the street, may we be given permission? Another follow up question: what pitch and meter ought we use for such a song? One last follow up question here and I’ll be out of your hair: are there any lyrics to this song other than “John” and “Hart”? As now the John Hart Fan Club President, I should note that his middle name is “Henry”. Could that be in there?

    Please advise.

  77. 77
    Rob Cope Says:

    Perhaps this is timely. I would like to note the good news that there was no one in the press conference yesterday whose name was John. Been a while.

  78. 78
    John R. Says:

    Coppy, Thoppy, Hoppy and Schloppy
    Were eating their curds and whay
    Along came Ken Rosenthal who sat down beside them all
    And said “They’re taking your Maitan away.”

  79. 79
    Jay Says:

    Peanut’s article says Thoppy was motivated in part by the “significant revenue opportunities” of STP. Wonder what he has been told about payroll.

  80. 80
    Seat Painter Says:

    @78 Shut your mouth!

    /pedant

    (And it’s ‘whey’).

    /pedant

  81. 81
    John R. Says:

    My mouth is henceforth zipped. In my defense I felt the idea of starting a nursery rhyme with “Coppy, Thoppy, Hoppy and Schloppy” was irresistible, and that is where my minimal talents led me.

  82. 82
    Smitty Says:

    I think we upgraded

  83. 83
    Rob Cope Says:

    Definitely upgraded.

  84. 84
    Chief Nocahoma Says:

    Bobby Doerr passed away which demarcates the last MLB player to have played pre-WW2. Sad.

    Sad that probably within 10 years there will be no one living that fought in WW2.

    The last Civil War veteran died in 1956!

  85. 85
    John R. Says:

    @84, It’s a sobering thought, indeed. It’s comforting in some way to know you still exist with people who had those experiences. It also reminds us we’re on a one-way path to getting old.

  86. 86
    Seat Painter Says:

    John R.

    I’m sorry if you took offense at @80. Please accept my apologies, I was just trying to play the ‘Old Curmudgeon’ card.

  87. 87
    coop Says:

    Dear Seat Painter,

    You were playing?!?

  88. 88
    Seat Painter Says:

    Yes. Now get off my virtual lawn.

    Waittaminit. Aren’t you the only dude older than me on this site? Maybe I should get off your lawn. Sir.

  89. 89
    John R. Says:

    @86, I’m sorry you thought I took offense! :) I sure hope we don’t lose Maitan either.

  90. 90
    coop Says:

    LOL, but blazon’s leading the aging race.

    (Though not by much.)

  91. 91
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    God. Will you people please drum circle up and friggin hug it out already. Jesus.

  92. 92
    braves14 Says:

    When Schuerholz wrote his book he used quotes from Braves Journal criticizing the Millwood for Estrada trade.

  93. 93
    krussell Says:

    @69, shitshow or not, it’s still one of the most desirable jobs on the planet. AA and about 8 billion other people would be crazy not to say “yes”.

    In the end, we’re finally to the point that I wanted us to be in when Wren was fired. We have a new voice from outside the Braves-way, and all the other guys that were muddying the waters at the top are being forced out (completely?). I can’t complain at all about this hire.

  94. 94
    Rusty S. Says:

    Can Li’l Jon be Schloppy the Second?

  95. 95
    Sam Hutcheson Says:

    @94

    If you like, and that’s what people want. But I’d personally go for “Li’l Schlop” or “Schlop Dawg.” Actually, check that. I’m going to go with “Shawty Schlop.”

  96. 96
    Alex Remington (Another Alex R.) Says:

    New thread.

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