Meet your (likely) Opening Day CF

Now that Mel Ju is out for at least two months due to inflammation of a bone in his left foot, the CF job is up for grabs and the competition doesn’t exactly inspire.

Of the quartet of candidates, only two are natural center fielders: Eury Perez, signed off waivers from the Yankees, and Todd Cunningham, a favorite among Braves bloggers, though I’m not sure why.

The numbers favor Perez, 24, who has a career .360 OBP and .305 BA compared to Cunningham’s .349 OBP and .278 BA. Cunningham, a second round pick in 2010, hits the occasional home run but Perez, signed when he was just 17 by Washington, actually has a higher lifetime slugging percentage. The longtime Braves farmhand has decent speed but has never stolen more than 24 bases in a season;  the ex-Nat stole 26 last year in just 67 games.

Zoilo Almonte and Eric Young Jr. are the other candidates but they’re better suited to the corners and generally suck.

It won’t be a riveting competition but maybe the Braves will get lucky. I’d opt for upside, and Perez, deemed the front-runner by DOB and Bowman, seems to have the most.

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7 comments

  1. Perez’s minor league stats don’t look so bad. He’ll be a vast improvement.

  2. Melvin just continues to inspire. Worst Braves acquistion ever. We knew Oberkfell and Lockhart were mediocre. Melvin’s play, demeanor, and contract are devastating to this club. Can’t wait for him to come back onto the active roster the end of April and complain about his playing time, place in the batting order, (insert complaint here). Go Eury!

  3. Eury and Mallex. Young stepped on Huddy foot and Heyward broke Revs whatever. Not motivated by race! Young, Cunningham, and Callaspo should be deemed as mistakes. As it stands now, Gomes should be the five hitter. Peraza/Markakis/Johnson/Freeman/Gomes/Simba/Betancourt/Eury or Mallex It doesn’t sound too potent!

  4. This is music to my ears!!! Mel Ju is out! He will get tons of playing time in Gwinnett to get things right. Lets say at the all star break, If he doesnt have his shit together, let him spot start. Any replacement will be leaps and bounds better than what he’ s brought the last two years! Maybe he will do us all a favor, work a buyout and QUIT!!’!!

  5. Definitely Eury Perez over Cunningham, though Cunningham may still have a spot if Markakis isn’t ready by Opening Day. Hopefully Eury can play like he has a chip on his shoulder.

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