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Birdy's 2013 Braves Overall Season Evaluation


Birdy™
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Record: 96-66

NL East Rank: 1st

NL Rank: 2nd

Notable Trades:

  • Braves traded Martin Prado, Randall Delgado and small prospects to the ARZ Diamondbacks for OF Justin Upton and IF Chris Johnson

  • Braves traded AAA RHR Corey Rasmus to the LA Angels for LHR Scott Downs

Notable Season Ending Injuries:

  • Johnny Venters

  • Eric O' Flaherty

  • Christian Martinez

  • Tim Hudson

  • Ramiro Pena

Notable NL Statistics:

  • Runs - 4th

  • Hits - 10th

  • HRs - 1st

  • RBIs - 4th

  • AVG - 9th

  • OBP - 6th

  • SLG - 2nd

  • SOs - Last

  • ERA - 1st

  • QS - 1st

Notable Season Performances (Hitting):

  • Freddie Freeman - .319 AVG (3rd) ; 23 HRs (16th) ; 109 RBIs (T-2nd) ; .501 SLG (8th) ; .396 OBP (6th)

  • Chris Johnson - .321 AVG (2nd) ; 12 HRs (T-65th) ; 68 RBIs (T-34th) ; .457 SLG (27th) ; .358 OBP (17th)

  • Justin Upton - .263 (42nd) ; 27 HRs (T-4th) ; 70 RBIs (T-31st) ; .464 SLG (24th) ; .354 OBP (20th)

Notable Season Performances (Pitching):

  • Craig Kimbrel - 50 SVs (1st) ; 1.21 ERA (1st among CPs) ; 98 SOs (3rd among CPs)

  • Kris Medlen - 3.11 ERA (13th) ; 15 Wins (T-6th) ; 157 SOs (25th) ; 1.21 WHIP (25th)

  • Mike Minor - 3.21 ERA (16th) ; 13 Wins (T-18th) ; 181 SOs (16th) ; 1.09 WHIP (9th)

Braves' 2013 Positives:

  • Power Hitting - The Braves were great as usual in the power department, having led the entire NL in HRs. Though no Braves' hitter produced 30 or more HRs, there were still a good amount of hitters with at least 20 HRs.

  • Relief Pitching - Braves' bullpen had the best ERA in all of baseball for the majority of the season and came through in the clutch multiple times for us, and this was without EOF, Martinez and Venters.

  • Fielding - Fielding was pretty great this season with the emergence of Simmons' great defense and obviously Heyward's fantastic glove as well. Bunch of great plays from Freddie and CJ as corner infielders as well.

  • Plate Discipline - I thought our plate discipline was for the most part fantastic. Braves drew a lot of walks and didn't chase a lot of bad pitches. Kept a lot of crucial drives alive.

Braves' 2013 Negatives:

  • Strikeouts - Offense struck out way too many times this season, though did improve later on, still our K% was off the charts horrible and is a major reason why so many sports analysts all across the nation have been downplaying the Braves.

  • Scoring with RISP - A bit of a head banger if you ask me. Braves had struggled way too many times attempting to score with runners on base as a whole. Extremely frustrating aspect this team possessed for what was the majority of the 2013 campaign.

  • Starting Pitching Consistency - Not a bad year for starting pitching overall, but the inconsistency was just ridiculous. Minor pitched like an ace pitcher in this league for the most part, but other times he just looked like an average one at best. Medlen had his fair share of slumps during the season as well, and Teheran was pretty consistent throughout the season but cooled down as the season progressed.

Breakout Seasons:

  • Chris Johnson - CJ had the highest batting AVG in the NL for a couple months and finished the season with the 2nd highest AVG. Obviously no one expected him to play this well in Chipper's shoes, but he did.

  • Freddie Freeman - Freddie finished with the 3rd highest batting AVG in the NL and 2nd in RBIs, with 23 HRs. Clearly a great season and is currently in NL MVP talks.

  • Evan Gattis - Started the season as a rookie phenom, however went through a cold, bumpy stretch half way through the season but still managed to produce 21 HRs which is the most from any other rookie in baseball in 2013.

  • Andrelton Simmons - Didn't have a great offensive season, though he did have a great second half offensively, he's been phenomenal with his glove. A defensive wizard back there at short stop. Arguably the best defensive short stop in all of baseball. Also tied a Braves franchise record for most HRs from a SS in a single season.

Disappointing Seasons:

  • BJ Upton - Must I explain? Absolutely IMO the worst player on the Braves roster this season, and ironically the highest paid too. Couldn't do a d@mn thing with a bat. Put up a horrible batting average and very few HRs and RBIs. Horrible and very strange season for a very talented player at that.

  • Dan Uggla - Had 22 HRs but has the worst batting average among all qualified hitters.

  • Jason Heyward - Had a horrible 1st half. Had a great 2nd half but that 1st half really affected his stats, plus was injured quite a bit so he missed a good amount of ABs. Nonetheless was a defensive gem out there in the outfield once again.

Justin Upton Trade Revisited: After this season I'd say the trade was for the most part a success for the Braves. Would've been nice to still have Prado's bat, but Justin's HRs were very crucial to our overall success this season. Justin was extremely inconsistent but still managed 27 HRs and a lot of them coming in the clutch, such as his 2 walk-off HRs this season and a huge grand slam earlier in the year. He sparked a lot of momentum into the club and I don't know if we'd be nearly as successful without him. So me personally I think it was a great trade on Wren's part.

McCann's Big Contract Year: McCann was out for the first month or so of the season but came back strong. Despite missing the amount of games that he did, he still racked up another 20+ HR season. He'll be a FA after this season when it's all said and done and I would hate to seem him depart for another club, but we all know it's likely to happen. With the emergence of a good, cheaply-paid Evan Gattis, Wren and co. are likely to just let McCann walk even though his leadership and production would be hard to replace.

Hudson's Rough Season: Huddy started the year pitching poorly and looking like a man ready to retire shortly. He did however pick up the pace around the 2nd half of the season and really started to pitch well, however that was disrupted after the infamous injury Huddy received against the Mets witch ended his season and possibly his time with the Atlanta Braves. Huddy's another productive leader on this team and I would utterly hate to see him in any uniform that's not a Braves' uni.

Aftermath of Chipper's Departure: Although the Braves seemed to struggle to find leadership among the squad at times, the entire team fired back well in Chipper's absence, obviously, winning 96 games and making another postseason push. Replacing Chipper is nearly impossible but CJ filled the vacancy at 3B well. He had the highest batting AVG among qualified hitters in the NL for a good amount of time and helped the club numerously in the clutch. CJ was a huge surprise and did what nobody even knew he was capable of doing.

As a whole this was a thrilling season. Lots of bumps on the road and certainty a lot of frustration in multiple areas, but the club always found a way to bounce back from any adversity and came up big in clutch situations, and that is what makes the Braves a true contender in the NL postseason IMO. We have our difficulties to overcome but we're resilient and never feel like we're out of a game. I could see another Braves' dynasty forming for years and years to come with all this talent and youth the Braves have.

As of now let's take care of business in the playoffs and start this new Braves' dynasty on a high note by taking home the pennant.

Great season y'all.

Go Braves!

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Edited by Birdy™
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