#Braves Predictions, 2015 edition

  • The offseason will end on a positive note, as the Braves ink Cuban mega-prospect Yoan Moncada to a lucrative contract. Trading J-Up and Jay Hey freed up about $20 million, giving John Hart the flexibility needed to get Moncada. By all accounts he’ll be worth it.

He is a 19-year-old, switch-hitting, fast-twitch-muscled, movie-star-looking bundle of talent from Cuba packed into a 6-foot-2, 200-pound frame. Nobody – not Yasiel Puig, not Jose Abreu, not Yoenis Cespedes – has at such a young age created so much hype among the Cuban baseball establishment since Omar Linares, the 1980s star widely regarded as the best talent ever from the island.

  • Despite low expectations, the Braves will win more games than they did in 2014. Well, one more game, putting them at 80-82.
  • Stout pitching will get them there: Julio T. and Alex Wood will be even better than a year ago. So will Shelby Miller.
  • Mike Minor’s return to form will be rewarded with a trade at the deadline for a much-needed young outfielder.
  • Minor will be expendable due to the emergence of Tyrell Jenkins, who builds on his impressive showing in the Arizona Fall League (2.22 ERA and 28 strikeouts in 24 1/3 innings, with a fastball that regularly touched 95 MPH) with a strong couple of months in Buford.
  • It’ll be a small consolation, however, as Jay Hey tops 25 homers and 25 steals for St. Louis.
  • B.J. will have a helluva March.
  • For the first time since 1990, the Braves will fail to draw 2 million fans. Come June, Atlanta sports fans will be paying more attention to the Hawks after they advance to the Eastern Conference finals for the first time in team history.
  • Evan Gattis will have the ugliest 30 HR season since Uggla hit 36 in 2011.
  • We’re going to see way too much A.J. Pierzynski as Bethancourt struggles early.
  • Chris Johnson will hit just well enough to get traded. B.J. will not.
  • Andrelton will be Kevin Seitzer’s prize pupil, batting .280 with 12 homers.
  • Freddie won’t see a strike until late May. He’ll be the first Brave to exceed 100 walks since Chipper in 2009.
  • One month after his June debut, Jose Peraza will take over the team lead in stolen bases.
  • Thanks to neck surgery, Nick Markakis will hit for a bit more power this season and will be slightly above average across the board. Very slightly.
  • Fredi will still be the manager this time next year. Regrettably.
  • The Marlins will win the NL East; the local nine will compete with the Mets for third place, just as they did in 2014.
  • Next year’s predictions will be more optimistic.
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3 comments

  1. I hope your prediction on Moncada comes true, it would do a lot for my hopes to see it happen. As baffling as the free agent signings have been this offseason, and despite the underwhelming return on J Up, I do like what the Braves have done to massively change the scouting department. Hart and Coppolella have done a great job of filling up the minor league pitching ranks too. We’ll see if the strategy of going after prospects who have already had TJ surgery pans out in a couple of years.
    I’ll throw in a prediction of my own:
    Uggla makes the Nationals out of ST, has two good weeks, then returns to his .170/.220/.285 ways, gets cut, then tears up the Japanese league for a year or two (power wise, not average).

  2. I’ll stick with my prediction for Uggla. However, if this article’s claims are true about his improved vision, and Uggla does bounce back to be his pre-Atlanta self for the Nationals on the Braves dime (all $132 million of them), it will be devastating–especially to Frank Wren’s legacy and the current Braves medical team, which somehow inexplicably missed this issue with his moving vision.

    http://www.federalbaseball.com/2015/1/4/7490257/nationals-notes-dan-uggla-concussion-issues-explained

  3. Uggla is done. I’m losing track of his agent’s excuses.

    That being said, the current Braves medical team is not exactly awe inspiring.

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