Ender’s Game: Who Stays & Who Goes In Atlanta’s Outfield?

Posted on Aug 11 2016 - 5:15pm by Jake Gordon

Atlanta has stumbled upon a very good problem to have: They have too many outfielders, and only 3 spots. Many speculate about who will be traded, and with Mallex Smith’s return looming, it is becoming a hot topic again with the acquisition of Matt Kemp. Ender Inciarte is hot off a 19 game hit streak, and has pushed his average to .267. Nick Markakis has always been solid for Atlanta, but he could hold a lot of value to a contender. So, who goes? Ender, Nick, Kemp, or Mallex?

 

Ender Inciarte

Ender has found great success as the leadoff hitter for Atlanta, but with Mallex Smith’s surge before his injury, will his services be needed as a table setter in Atlanta’s lineup? Ender had a rough start to the year before exploding after the all star break. Even though his 19 game hit streak ended on Tuesday, he hit .368 with a lot more extra base hits to go along with a monster home run. Inciarte has also avoided the strikeout bug, 6th fewest strikeouts per plate appearance in the MLB. Ender has been great for Atlanta, his defense is elite, and he’s a great guy. He won’t be moved before the season ends, but I don’t think he will be on the roster before 2017. Thankfully, he should command a great return.

Will He Be Traded? 

Very Possible this offseason

Mallex Smith

Not going anywhere unless he is part of a monster deal for a player far better than he is. Next.

Will He Be Traded?

No

Matt Kemp

Matt stole the hearts of Braves fans with his letter to the Players Tribune pledging to be a better teammate, athlete, and player. Matt was part of a 1 for 1 which rid Atlanta of Cuban “prospect” Hector Olivera. While Coppolella made another excellent trade, he may look to move Kemp to get rid of his salary. Most Atlanta fans do not want to see Kemp go right now, and for good reason. Even though Matt has only hit .206 in Atlanta, he’s come up with some clutch hits, provided protection for Freddie Freeman, and has been right in the middle of a hot streak for the Braves. 5 RBI in 9 Games is something Non-Freeman Atlanta players do not do often. Kemp is seen as a player with not a lot of value, he stays. If he can show out in the fall, he may draw some interest in the offseason.

Will He Be Traded?

Not In The 2016 Season

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Nick Markakis

And then there was one. Nick has been a great find for Atlanta, and he has bridged the gap left by the Jason Heyward deal for 2 years with some great success in Atlanta. “Nicky Singles” has lost almost all of his power after neck surgery, but he’s still a productive Major League Player. In 2014 he hit .296, and in 2015 he’s right back there at .273. He’s already hit 4 more Home Runs than last year, but more importantly he’s played in 112 games this year. He could be a great pickup for a team like Cleveland or San Francisco. If Nick clears waivers, he (and his excellent contract) will be dealt to a contender. Kemp will slide into Left, Mallex in Center, and Inciarte moves to right.  This can open the door for the Braves to sign a big outfielder like Mark Trumbo in the offseason.

Will He Be Traded?

Yes.

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