To those who say strikeouts don’t matter, that an out is an out, the 2015 Braves present a solid counter-argument.
They’re 11th in the NL in hits, 14th in homers, 9th in OPS and 9th in steals. Yet they’ve struck out fewer times than any other team in the Senior Circuit and, consequently, rank 6th in the league in runs.
Freddie (A-) His numbers aren’t terrific — he’s on pace for 20 HR, 83 RBI and a .302 BA — but he’s doing it with little support in the line-up. His strikeouts are up slightly but he remains the consistent force worthy of the long-term deal he was given last year.
Markakis (B) You hope the power will return, but for now Nick is the white Dion James — with less power. Dion as a Brave: .283 BA, .374 OBP, .402 slugging; Markakis: .302, .391, .349.
Jace Peterson (B) I’m amused by those who speculate about Jose Peraza changing positions because of Peterson’s emergence. Jace is a nice piece but profiles as a excellent utility infielder more than an everyday one.
Andrelton (C+) Starting to fall back into some bad habits but is on pace for 40 doubles and 70 RBI.
Cameron Maybin (B) He’s not B.J. Actually, he’s been a nice surprise, getting on base at a .357 clip. He’s on pace for 15 HR, 70 RBI and 24 SB. Most teams would take that from their CF.
KJ (B+) He still leads the Braves in HR.
Callapso (F) Terrible, just terrible.
Bethancourt (F) The Braves appear on the verge of giving up on their catcher of the future.
Pierzynski (B+) The more playing time he gets, the more that grade is likely to drop.
The rest (B) Much like the mid-80s Braves, this squad has a stout bench. So there’s that. T
Game-day atmosphere (D) As corn pone and programmed as ever, the Braves play to what they say is their base. Growing it doesn’t seem a concern. Attendance is down a whopping 5, 376 per game from a year ago. The Braves have responded by raising beer prices and keeping ticket prices roughly the same.
Awful music, too much noise and too many distractions.
Announcers (D) Joe is the only one I can tolerate these days. Chip remains gaffe-prone and, well, weird, while Jim Powell seems to be auditioning for the role of Mike Brady.
CD will be along soon with his grades for the pitchers and defense.