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Welcome to the 2017 Razzball Team Previews! You’ll find everything you need to know about each team to get yourself ready for the upcoming fantasy baseball season. And I do mean everything, everybody. We’ve got line-ups, charts, numbers, projections, questionable questions, smarter answer, potent potables and well, that’s a lie. No potables here, but plenty of potent fantasy names brimming with potential. Now’s the time to be an eternal optimist for the next two months. I’ll be joined by Razzball newbie Zack Burgess in completing these this year (Welcome aboard, Zack!). So, we’ve got a team to preview and questions to ask. Let’s get after it!

We have a very special guest for this post, Kris Willis, to provide his take on what the team has in store this season. Now enough rambling, let’s see what 2017 holds for the Atlanta Braves!

2017 Atlanta Braves Depth Chart & Projections

Starting Lineup

Order Pos Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG OPS
1 CF Ender Inciarte 568 71 7 47 19 0.279 0.71
2 SS Dansby Swanson 541 66 13 58 9 0.259 0.718
3 1B Freddie Freeman 539 83 26 86 4 0.275 0.869
4 LF Matt Kemp 548 68 24 83 3 0.268 0.78
5 RF Nick Markakis 545 67 11 58 2 0.27 0.732
6 2B Brandon Phillips 514 53 11 58 11 0.275 0.703
7 3B Adonis Garcia 377 38 10 46 3 0.271 0.714
8 C Tyler Flowers 268 27 8 32 1 0.237 0.683

Bench

Pos Player AB R HR RBI SB AVG OPS
2B Jace Peterson 276 28 4 28 6 0.248 0.682
MI Chase d’Arnaud 180 17 2 17 7 0.242 0.63
3B Rio Ruiz 137 13 3 15 1 0.233 0.66
C Kurt Suzuki 119 11 2 12 0 0.251 0.665

Starting Rotation

Role Player IP W SV K ERA WHIP K/9
1 Julio Teheran 183 10 0 167 4 1.23 8.2
2 Bartolo Colon 164 9 0 114 4.1 1.24 6.24
3 R.A. Dickey 164 9 0 132 4.17 1.31 7.23
4 Jaime Garcia 130 8 0 115 3.54 1.26 7.94
5 Mike Foltynewicz 153 8 0 145 4.18 1.3 8.56
6 Matt Wisler 122 6 0 96 4.62 1.34 7.07

Bullpen

Role Player IP W SV K ERA WHIP K/9
CL Arodys Vizcaino 65 3 24 75 3.36 1.27 10.43
CL Jim Johnson 65 3 11 61 3.48 1.29 8.41
SU Ian Krol 55 3 1 59 3.31 1.25 9.7
SU Mauricio Cabrera 55 3 1 60 3.83 1.42 9.81
MID Chaz Roe 45 2 0 49 3.35 1.25 9.85
MID Jose Ramirez 40 2 0 42 4.05 1.38 9.42
MID Armando Rivero 35 2 0 41 3.45 1.31 10.67
MID Paco Rodriguez 30 1 0 31 3.5 1.3 9.39
MID Jordan Walden 20 1 0 23 3.51 1.24 10.2
LR Josh Collmenter 34 2 0 25 4.49 1.34 6.55
LR Aaron Blair 26 1 0 21 4.67 1.42 7.34

Note: Projections provided by Steamer.

And now we specifically want to get to the specifics. So, let’s bring in Kris Willis from Talking Chop to give us the low down on the Braves in 2017.

M@: Here’s to an incredible 2017 filled with hope and promise. Oh, and there’s that whole new stadium thing. As an Atlanta fan, it truly feels like the beginning of a new era in Atlanta. Obviously, plenty of that depends upon how well the stockpile of young talent coming through the minors develop, headlined by Dansby Swanson. He’s already splashed in Atlanta to strong results. As a fantasy option, how much can we expect from Lieutentant Dan? Is his ceiling really a Derek Jeter type SS?

Kris WillisI think the Braves would be pretty pleased if Swanson went on to put the kind of numbers that Jeter did during his career. It is an interesting comparison for sure. Swanson hit well during his short stint with the Braves last season posting a .302/.361/.442 slash line. Over a full season it may be difficult for him to maintain those kinds of numbers and most projections that I have seen have him coming slightly under. Still there is a lot to like about Swanson and in a lot of ways I think he is the face of Atlanta’s rebuild. No doubt he will have to battle his way through some difficult stretches next season but the Braves are much better situation this season with him at shortstop.

M@: It’s laughable how many arms are stashed in the lower ranks of the Braves system, but up at the parent club it’s been mostly disappointment as the young guns are getting their shot. Last year’s lone bright spot was the ressurgence of Julio Teheran, and I expect him to continue improving, but the others need to follow suit. With the gluttony of veteran arms added to the rotation this offseason (inclduing a true glutton in Bartolo Colon?), is there a SP that solidifies himself as the #2 option for 2017, whether young or old?

Kris WillisI think Mike Foltynewicz might be the pitcher best positioned to make a significant leap for the Braves this season although he might not be able to make it all the way to No. 2 starter status. Folty made some big strides last season posting a 4.31 ERA in 22 starts. He will have to go to spring training and earn a spot in the rotation but it appears that he at least has a leg up on the competition to start. Foltynewicz’s stuff is off the charts, it is just a matter of refining his command and it feels like 2017 could be a big season for him.

M@: The theme of the first few questions, and essentially every storyline of the Braves currently, is the top farm system in all of baseball. One of the keys to fantasy baseball is knowing which prospects to target before they get the call to the big show. Of all the top names, which prospect should we keep our eye on to first make an impact in 2017?

Kris WillisThe easy answer is Ozzie Albies. It appeared that he might have been ticketed for a September call up last season before his season ended due to a fractured elbow. Before the injury, the thinking was that Albies would come to spring training this season with an opportunity to compete for the second base job. The injury itself may be enough to put Albies debut off for a little while but he still appears to be poised to crack the Braves’ lineup at some point this season. There are plenty of other guys to keep an eye on as well. Position players like Dustin Peterson and Rio Ruiz will all be at spring training with the major league club. Atlanta also has several pitching prospects waiting in the wings. Guys like Sean Newcomb, Lucas Sims and possibly even Max Fried are guys that could end up in Atlanta at some point. Lefty reliever A.J. Minter is another name to keep an eye on during the spring.

M@: Everyone loves getting an edge. As an expert on this team, give us some insider trading. Who is someone flying under the radar that will surprise us in 2017, making them an underrated option from Atlanta?

Kris WillisFrom a fantasy perspective it very well could be Matt Kemp who is apparently in much better shape heading into spring training this season. Kemp hit .280/.336/.519 and slugged 12 home runs in 56 games for Atlanta last season. His defense leaves a lot to be desired but he figures to be in the lineup just about everyday when healthy and will be a fixture in the middle of Atlanta’s order behind Freddie Freeman. If Kemp really has gotten himself into better shape, then I don’t think it is a stretch to expect another good year at the plate.

M@: Now on the flip side, who is someone on this roster that everyone may be targetting but is an overrated option just waiting to disappoint us?

Kris WillisAdonis Garcia was a big part of Atlanta’s second half surge in 2016 but he might be a risky play this season. Garcia put up a .293/.333/.456 slash line during the second half last season but the Braves went out and signed utility man Sean Rodriguez this offseason. Rodriguez figures to see time at second base and third along with an occasional start in the corner outfield slots. Garcia may see a lot of time early with Rodriguez at second base. However, at some point Ozzie Albies will likely be added to the mix and Rodriguez could see more regular playing time at third.

M@: Let’s time travel. At the end of 2017 what will this team’s final record be, and how will we remember their year?

Kris WillisI’m going with 78-84 for the Braves this season. I think the .500 mark is a realistic goal that they could reach with some breaks. I think this year in large part will be viewed as a transitional one and one where we see another wave of youngsters get their first taste of playing in the major leagues.

 

NOW DROP THOSE COMMENTS! Thanks, Kris, for the conversation about the Braves in 2017! Make sure to catch more of Kris’ writings at Talking Chop, and keep checking back. More 2017 Team Previews to come!

 
  1. Pipa says:
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    You chart is all effed up, better work on Excel skills!

    • M@

      M@ says:
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      @Pipa: Hey Pipa! Good heads up! We had to make some edits to the article after it was submitted which threw off our margins. We’re working to fix them (and the others, you’ll see, will be correct).

      Thanks for reading and commenting!

  2. Bad! says:
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    crossing Razzball off the list of websites I will go to for fantasy articles…

    • M@

      M@ says:
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      @Bad!: Thanks for reading Andy! Curious to know what you disliked about the article (aside from the margins)?

      • Bad! says:
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        Wasn’t trying to be a prick, but it mostly seemed like this was written and then posted without even a basic round of editing…

        -Sean Rodriguez and no mention of Phillips.
        -Stat headers all out of whack.
        -A large portion of the article devoted to Adonis Garcia with no discussion of the closer situation, which would’ve been far more interesting. Steamer projects Vizcaino to get the majority of saves, but the actual closer is Johnson, for example. Talk about whether he can sustain his k rate.

        I thought the point about Kemp was spot on, but how can you talk about recent news like how he has arrived in camp in such great shape while obviously not updating the Rodriguez situation?

        • M@

          M@ says:
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          @Bad!: @Bad!: Well, I understand the criticism, but man…I hope one poorly finalized article doesn’t turn you away from the 8 years of awesome writing we have.

          We made some edits and it should be corrected now. The Rodriguez add, as with the others, was due to the article being submitted prior to the news; it just wasn’t posted until now. Poor timing.

          But as for the content, two things:

          1) that’s a product of the article being limited. Every preview will have six questions to a blog writer. Can’t ask them all (though I could talk about the Braves for days…)

          2) THAT’S WHAT THE COMMENTS ARE FOR! I’m here to help. Hopefully. So, if you have a question about something not posted, ask it in here. That’s a much more fruitful route than just throwing up the deuce sign all willy nilly like. Haha, why do you think Grey has 500+ comments on his posts? It’s the Commenter Community that makes Razzball special.

          So, on that note, I’m really glad you scrolled down to drop a comment. But hopefully this clears the air on what happened with this one, our aim for the future Previews, and our desire to be as helpful in our fantasy advice as possible.

        • Steve Stevenson says:
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          @Bad!: Waaiiiiit, are you SURE you weren’t trying to be a prick?

        • The Harrow says:
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          @Bad!: got a point here, but if THIS is enough to quit an entire site forever, well i guess you’ve quit all the sites then huh, and i’m sure each and every one rues the day that happened.

          why was this posted with the s-rod thing not updated, i mean, the day you went to post this just delete the s-rod point and make some comments down here about it; it might be they wanted to get somebody named kris willis’ comments quoted verbatim, maybe it was contractual to have that done, that would explain it.

  3. Doug says:
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    How about the fact that the writer doesn’t seem to know that Rodriguez is out for the year?

    • M@

      M@ says:
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      @Doug: Yep, we’re working to fix that, too. The article was scheduled to post before the news of him missing the whole year. If it was still just three months out (the initial thought) he’d need to be on the bench still.

      Either way, we’re working to fix the issues. Thanks for your patience!

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      @Doug: Kris Willis from the Braves’ blog, Talking Chop, is answering questions, and the answers are from a couple weeks back due to scheduling of posts… We will refund the money you paid to read the question about Sean Rodriguez, please send a SASE to:
      Razzball HQ
      Zurich, Switzerland

      • FBV says:
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        @Grey: Reminds me of people in the homeless shelter complaining about the taste of the free food.

        • M@

          M@ says:
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          @FBV: Haha, I think I was more thrown off by the second-person nature of the comment. ‘The writer’

          I HAVE A NAME! AND IT IS VERY CREATIVE!

          As a Braves fanatic…the writer knew about Sean Rodriguez’s injury.

  4. Biff Malibu says:
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    I propose make amends n detail a discussion on Atlanta’s rebuild n farm system. Some in depth in this area stands to prove the interest of making the most of your readers interests. As well as, covers the admitted portion if this article…that the Braves will still fall short (W-L prediction) but have come a ways in rebuild mode. For the judgemental, you deserve no such second chance in life in all aspects. Don’t you dare ever make a mistake! Some troll will find you!!

    • M@

      M@ says:
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      @Biff Malibu: Biff! Still salty that Marty scored that football results guidebook from ya while on the hover board?

      Haha, thanks for the comment. And the wit. And the problem with those second chance things is I’m all about them, especially in life. Grace on grace on grace. I’ve had much given to me, so I try to give it to others.

      As for the Farm System, in short it’s A) strong and B) Ralph Lifshitz does an INCREDIBLE job with the prospects. If you’re interested in finding more, check his articles.

  5. Packers says:
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    I got the meat and potatoes out of the post.
    Remember, if you want to fail in life try to make everyone happy. I’m sure the next post will be perfect. It should be a good series.

    • M@

      M@ says:
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      @Packers: Haha, I prefer my steak and taters well seasoned with a solid char from the garlic butter.

      (Leaves computer for an hour. Gets to cookin. Comes back satisfied)

      If only everyone else understood how to really enjoy everything in life. I’m not making any sense, but that’s ok because I’m in a good coma. And because not one single comment on this post so far has anything to do with fantasy baseball.

      Woooooweeeeee!!!! (Thanks for the comment! Go Falcons ;-) )

  6. Joebob says:
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    Vizcaino worth holding at 5 in 10 team NL only?

    • M@

      M@ says:
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      @Joebob: Yes. Absolutely. Even if he becomes just the setup his K numbers should be quite high, and the chances Johnson gets dealt could be even higher. I think that’s a great value, assuming a standard $260-$270 budget.

  7. Ethan Earle says:
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    Would you keep Jim Johnson at $5 in a competitive 14 team keeper league? Only SP and RP positions (no generic P), so he only has value if he gets the saves. Standard $260 budget, and I’ll go into the draft with somewhere in the neighborhood of $75, with one or zero RPs depending on Johnson and 1-2 other larger holes to fill (outfield, third base). Thanks for writing this and keeping up with the comments. Y’all at Razzball are the best!

    • M@

      M@ says:
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      @Ethan Earle: Man, that’s tough going into the draft with only $75 left. How many spots do you need to fill?

      Let’s say you have 15 spots left, that makes it an average of $5 per player. If you believe Johnson keeps the job the whole year, then it’s a steal. If you believe either injury, trade or Vizcaino takes those away, it’s less attractive. If this were an NL-Only I’d say keep him. Being that it’s mixed, and that he may be the 27-30th best closer out there, I’d probably pass. I’d imagine you’d be getting him for close to market value in a 14-team league.

      However, if you can get a read on how many RP will be available and it seems like that number is really limited, finding saves at $5 is a great buy. And at $5 you’e not losing a ton if he all of a sudden loses the job.

      So, now that I’ve written two paragraphs, I’d probably lean towards keeping him at $5. If he gets even 10 saves it’s worth it. And I’ll leave the other thoughts up there so you can see the stream of thoughts that we have in responding. It’s not always as clear as we may write.

      Good luck!

      • Ethan Earle says:
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        @M@: Thanks for your thoughts. I’m leaning the same way. To further complicate things, i’d actually be trading him for a $37 johnny cueto who is too expensive and whose services i don’t need (i have strong starting pitching). I’ve tried to ship Cueto elsewhere but haven’t gotten a lot of traction at that price (not surprisingly). Anyhow… the market is indeed tough, and as they say, one in the hand is worth two in the bush. I think i’m gonna do it.

        • Ethan Earle says:
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          @Ethan Earle: Which is to say that if i don’t make this trade, i likely release cueto out into the draft, and there’s a value for me to instead stick him with the team i’m trading to (who isn’t in contention, unlike me). Then i can wait until the last second with Johnson and, worst case scenario, i drop him and still haven’t lost anything.

  8. paul says:
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    I just flew in from Zurich and man are my arms tired

    but seriously, who reads only 1 baseball website this time of year ?

    • M@

      M@ says:
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      @paul: This.

  9. BelmarPhil says:
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    Teheran with only 10 saves? my projections were off

    • Grey

      Grey says:
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      Mislabeled chart, I fixed it

      • M@

        M@ says:
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        @Grey: Grey to the rescue. Fearless leader.

        Sorry about that BelmarPhil. Great catch.

Comments are closed.