Saturday

2013 Atlanta Braves Team Profile

ABSTRACT: The Atlanta Braves are getting ready to begin the 2013 season. Here is a team profile detailing the Braves important offseason moves as well as speculating on the team's projected regular season roster.

Fulton County Stadium (1)
The Atlanta Braves have not made it to the NLCS in over a decade. The franchise has a chance to end that drought this year. The 2013 Braves team will feature many of the same players from last year's playoff squad, as well as a few prominent newcomers.

2012 Season

The Braves finished the regular season with a 94-68 record, which was good enough for second place in the NL East behind the Washington Nationals. The Braves were unable to parlay their regular season success into a deep playoff run. They lost to the St. Louis Cardinals in the NL wild-card game by a score of 6-3.

2013 Payroll

The team's 2013 payroll is projected to be around $90 million by the beginning of the season. That figure is modest when compared to some of the league's big spenders.

Key Departures

Chipper Jones (3B): Jones retired at the end of the 2012 season and will be sorely missed. The potential Hall of Famer played his entire MLB career with the Braves.

Tommy Hanson (P): The Braves traded Hanson to the L.A. Angels for reliever Jordan Walden. That might not be a bad thing; Hanson was a mediocre 13-10 with a 4.48 ERA in 2012.

Martin Prado (LF): Prado had an excellent season in 2012, finishing 20th in the NL MVP balloting. That did not stop the Braves from trading him to the Arizona Diamondbacks for outfielder Justin Upton.

Michael Bourn (CF): The Braves opted not to resign Bourn, who inked a deal with the Cleveland Indians. The centerfielder had an excellent season in 2012, finishing 18th in the NL MVP voting.

Randall Delgado (P): The Braves traded Delgado, a top prospect, to the Diamondbacks as part of the J. Upton trade. In 2012, Delgado split his time between the Braves and their AAA affiliate.

David Ross (C): Ross appeared in 62 games for the Braves during the 2012 season, mainly in spot duty as a pinch-hitter and as a back-up catcher. Ross signed with the Boston Red Sox.

Key Additions

B.J. Upton (CF): The team's biggest offseason move was its signing of free agent B.J. Upton to a five year contract worth $75.25 million. The Braves are hoping for big things from Upton.

Justin Upton (LF): The Braves acquired the younger brother of B.J. Upton in a multiplayer trade with the Diamondbacks. Upton played right field in Arizona but will switch to left field when he suits up for the Braves.

Gerald Laird (C): Laird will begin the season as the team's starting catcher and will move into a reserve role once Brian McCann comes off the DL.

Chris Johnson (3B): The Braves acquired Chris Johnson in the deal for J. Upton.

Jordan Walden (P): The team nabbed the Walden from the Angels in the Hanson trade.

Top Prospects

Julio Teheran (P): The righty spent most of last year with Atlanta's AAA affiliate. He is currently battling for the fifth spot in the Braves starting rotation.

J.R. Graham (P): The 23-year old has impressed coaches with his pitching prowess.

Christian Bethancourt (C): Bethancourt has a chance to make the Braves opening day roster as a reserve catcher, though he will probably be demoted to AAA once McCann returns.

Projected Batting Order/2012 Stats

SS Andrelton Simmons (49 games, .289 BA, .335 OBP, .416 SLG, 3 HR, 19 RBI, 17 R)
RF Jason Heyward (.269 BA, .335 OBP, .479 SLG, 27 HR, 82 RBI, 93 R)
LF Justin Upton (.280 BA, .355 OBP, .430 SLG, 17 HR, 67 RBI, 107 R)
CF B.J. Upton (.246 BA, .298 OBP, .454 SLG, 28 HR, 78 RBI, 79 R)
C Brian McCann (.230 BA, .300 OBP, .399 SLG, 20 HR, 67 RBI, 44 R)
1B Freddie Freeman (.259 BA, .340 OBP, .456 SLG, 23 HR, 94 RBI, 91 R)
2B Dan Uggla (.220 BA, .348 OBP, .384 SLG, 19 HR, 78 RBI, 86 R)
3B Chris Johnson (.281 BA, .326 OBP, .451 SLG, 15 HR, 76 RBI, 48 R)
Projected Starting Rotation/2012 Stats
Tim Hudson (16-7, 179.0 IP, 3.62 ERA, 102 K)
Kris Medlen (10-1, 138.0 IP, 1.57 ERA, 120 K)
Mike Minor (11-10, 179.1 IP, 4.12 ERA, 145 K)
Paul Maholm (4-5, 68.2 IP, 3.54 ERA, 59 K)
Julio Teheran (rookie-will likely be replaced by Brandon Beachy when he comes off the DL)
Projected Bullpen/2012 Stats
Craig Kimbrel (closer: 42 SV, 62.2 IP, 1.01 ERA, 116 K)
Eric O'Flaherty (57.1 IP, 1.73 ERA, 46 K)
Jonny Venters (58.2 IP, 3.22 ERA, 69 K)
Jordan Walden (39.0 IP, 3.46 ERA, 48 K)
Cristhian Martinez (73.2 IP, 3.91 ERA, 65 K)
Luis Avilan (36.0 IP, 2.00 ERA, 33 K)
Cory Gearrin (20.0 IP, 1.80 ERA, 20 K)

Sources

Altanta Braves Official Site. (2013). "Depth Chart."
Baseball Reference
Shanks, Bill. (Feb. 19, 2013). "Braves Braced for Significant Turnover." The Telegraph.

1. Photographer: DB King
    Date: 1997
    Title/Description: Georgia State Capitol Dome and the former Atlanta Stadium in the distance 
    Location/Permission: Wikimedia Commons - Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license
    (see title/link for photo, credit, permissions)

The author has followed Major League Baseball for many years and is a fan of the Atlanta Braves.

-- Anthony Hopper

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