With the Braves core locked up for the better part of the next decade, there could be several quiet winters in our future. Atlanta’s roster is essentially set for next season, outside of the possibility of a few more minor tweaks. So, let’s look at FanGraphs‘ projections for the 2023 season. This continues my series, moving to second base, which was a sore spot without Ozzie Albies in 2022. Below are the previous parts of the series:
Vaughn Grissom and Orlando Arcia manned second base for most of the 2021 campaign in place of an injured Ozzie Albies, who only appeared in 64 games. The energetic youngster played in the team’s first 62 games, then suffered a broken foot, which took nearly three months to rehab. And the most fun-loving player on the team would suffer another devastating injury, breaking his pinky in his second game back, ending his season.
In the 64 games Albies played, he posted a .703 OPS and 93 WRC+ — both very poor numbers by his standards. Compare those to his career averages, and it’s clear he wasn’t the player Braves Country had grown to love. Since becoming a full-time starter, Albies has slashed .272/.322/.479 with an .801 OPS while averaging 21 home runs and 71 RBIs per season from 2018-21. You would think positive regression is on the horizon, right?
FanGraphs doesn’t think so. The site projects a .259/.312/.445 2023 slash line, down from his career averages, with a 3.2 WAR, ranking 11th in the majors. I’m not sure why FanGraphs isn’t looking favorable on Albies returning from injury, but I expect him to outperform those projections. Arcia and Grissom did a valiant job holding down the position in 2022, but having Ozzie Albies back is undoubtedly an upgrade in every facet of the game — intangibles, hitting, defense, and base running.
Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire
You must log in to post a comment.