The future of the Braves at second base is a little more cloudy now than it was at the beginning of the season. Many Braves fans believed the future lied in the hands of either Jace Peterson or former top prospect Jose Peraza. However, Jace has struggled at times through his first year in the majors, and Peraza was shipped to the Dodgers in the trade that landed the Braves Hector Olivera. With Ozhaino Albies on the rise, lets take a look at what the Braves might do in regards to the second base position going forward.
Stick With Peterson
This is probably the most likely situation considering the team probably will not be expecting to compete next year. Peterson has put together a nice first full season in the majors, hitting .236 with 51 RBIs and 12 SBs. He has had an up and down year, but that is expected in a player’s rookie season. He has an OBP of .311 and has shown the ability to come up with some clutch hits. He saw vast improvements from his first stint in the majors in 2014 with the Padres, in which he hit just .113 in 27 games.
Peterson might never be an all-star, but he has already shown he has the ability to play in the major leagues. The biggest reason for a move would be the rise of prospect Ozhaino Albies. Albies started the year as a little known prospect, but has flown up numerous prospect lists and looks to be the Braves top up and coming positional prospect. SportsTalkATL’s Prospect list has him as the current #4 prospect in the organization.
Trade Peterson, Sign Veteran Flyer
Peterson has built up some trade value after his first season in the majors. The Braves traded second baseman Tommy La Stella to the Cubs after a similar season for relief pitcher Arodys Vizcaino. La Stella has struggled in the Cubs organization and Vizcaino looks to be one of the great young bullpen arms in the MLB. If the Braves feel like they can get similar value or more, especially with the state of the current bullpen, they could opt to trade Peterson. If they did trade Peterson they would likely look on the market for a consistent veteran to fill the void until Albies is ready. Some guys to consider are Howie Kendrick and Ben Zorbist.
Kendrick is in his 10th league in the majors with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He has put together a very nice year hitting .296 with 9 HRs and 49 RBIs. Over his career, he is a .293 hitter. Kendrick would be a tremendous add at the top of the lineup for the Braves and would easily make the team more competitive than they are now. At 32, Kendrick also would not come with a hefty price tag.
Ben Zobrist is another option for the Braves to look at this offseason. Zorbist is sort of an ultimate utility man, as he has played all over the field over his career. He has experience playing second base, and would be another guy that the Braves could put at the top of the lineup. He was traded to the Royals prior to the trade deadline, and has since hit .306 with 6 HRs in 44 games. Zorbist is also approaching 35 years of age, so he would likely be a cost effective option if the Braves chose to take this route.