I don’t know if the 2018 Atlanta Braves will be good, but they should be fun to watch.
Baseball is baseball, and for that reason, it is difficult to speak in certainties. Players break out, and then some crater. Every year there are 30-something pitchers who find a way to reinvent themselves — unheralded prospects that burst on to the scene and surprise everyone. The 2018 season for the Atlanta Braves could very well host each of these occurrences.
The one constant: Freddie Freeman
This conversation starts and stops with Freddie Freeman. Freeman is the kind of talent you build around, and the Braves are doing just that. Freddie Freeman is nearly an anomaly; he runs a high contact rate, barrels an absurd amount of pitches, and hits them with authority. The fact that he generates an above average output of line drives and fly balls only adds to this absurdity. When it comes to quality of contact, Freddie has very few peers. Even though Freddie Freeman has been around since 2010, he’s still entering just his age 28 season, and it’s right in the middle of a baseball player’s prime.
Although Freddie Freeman is a known commodity and as close to a sure bet as it gets, he will be flanked by players who will be more volatile but filled with upside. The Braves are in the rare era of having an absolute wealth of high upside players on its roster. You’d have to go back to 2013 to find a roster that is remotely comparable when we got to watch Andrelton Simmons, Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman, Brian McCann and Evan Gattis on a nightly basis.