Even though Spring Training games don’t exactly count, they are none the less fun to watch and important. Spring training is a time for Minor Leaguers to show their stuff and try to make the roster, and for veterans to try and earn a spot on the bench. Spring Training is also super important for the everyday players to warm up their bats, sharpen up their defense, and face other teams’ pitchers.
As a manger, in this case Brian Snitker, you watch player production carefully to see which Minor Leaguers and Spring Training invitees are showing great skill and production. They also look at the shape that their everyday players are in and how well they are preforming during the spring.
The Braves have had a very impressive Spring Training so far this year. Their young players have really shown out in their talent, and the every day players have continued to be strong, reliable, and have proven their talent levels. Here are a few Braves players who have had a good Spring Training so far:
Ronald Acuña Jr.
This kid. His amount of talent continues to grow with every season. He has hit four home runs so far this spring…four! And they haven’t been cheap little line drive home runs either. Another thing is his strikeout rate hasn’t been as high as we normally see, which is encouraging. He has also gained more patience at the plate, not swinging at every pitch or getting an out after only seeing a couple of pitches at the plate. Acuña will be an exciting player again to watch this year, and I can’t wait to see what he has in store for the Braves in 2021!
My man! Ozzie has continued to show his talented ability as a switch-hitter. He has improved from the left side of the plate, and continues to be great from the right side. Albies has hit two home runs this spring and has a .250 avg. so far this Spring Training. He was 1 for 2 yesterday with a single and a stolen base. We can’t forget to mention his defensive abilities. It surprises me greatly that Ozzie hasn’t won a Gold Glove in his career. (He should’ve won one in 2019.. but don’t get me started on that!). Albies has been and will continue to be a Gold Glove worthy, powerful switch-hitter in his career, and I cannot wait to see him play in 2021!
Like last year, Ozuna had a slow start to his Spring Training. However, his bat has started to come alive within the last few games. In 31 at-bats he has a .226 average, has six RBI’s, and has hit two home runs. In yesterday’s game against the Rays he was 2 for 3 with a home run. With the National League not having the DH this season, Ozuna will be the Braves left-fielder. His defensive skills aren’t the greatest, but he has worked on them this spring and has done a good job in left field. Obviously, given how he hit last year, he has a big time power bat. He will once again be such a bonus hitting cleanup behind Freddie Freeman in the lineup. He will be a fun one to watch for sure this season!
These are just three of the Braves players that have really shown up this Spring Training. Obviously Braves manager Brian Snitker isn’t worried about how well Ozzie, Acuña, and Ozuna have preformed this spring. He knows their abilities and that you can’t have your best stuff every single game.
One thing to point out is the empty spot on the bench. In my opinion the Braves are either going to add Jake Lamb or Jason Kipnis to the bench. Lamb is currently riding on a .188 average in 32 at-bats. He has hit one homer, has had 6 hits, and has five RBI’s. He has also struck out 11 times. Kipnis isn’t doing much better.. he has a .240 avg. in 25 at-bats with one home run, six hits, and three RBI’s. He has struck out 7 times.
Neither of their spring stats are eye-opening. They have both struck out a good number of times and have hit the same amount of home runs — one. It will be interesting to see who the Braves go with in the end…if they go with either of them! Like I said, they are just my two predictions for who will round out the Braves bench.