Four Braves have already been revealed on MLB Network’s Top 100 players list. Sean Murphy was the first member of the team to be announced; Spencer Strider made his debut on the list, and Rookie of the Year Michael Harris II clocked in as the no. 53 ranked player. Matt Olson fell nearly 20 spots in 2023 after being the no. 26 ranked player last year. And the latest member of the organization to appear on the list is Max Fried, who rose from 48 to 36 this year.
The Braves ace has established himself as arguably the best lefty on the planet, coming off a second-place finish in the NL Cy Young race, finishing the 2022 campaign with a career-best 2.48 ERA, 2.70 FIP, and 5.9 WAR.
Max Fried is the staff’s ace and will toe the rubber in any Game 1 situation. Despite a less-than-ideal finish to the season, there’s nobody I’d rather have out there. And there was a good reason for his poor performance in the NLDS against the Phillies.
Fried surrendered four earned runs in just 3.1 innings as Philadelphia opened up the series with a critical Game 1 victory on the road. However, he was battling the flu for weeks. Going into the series, it was unclear how severe the illness was, but according to Braves pitching coach Rick Kranitz, Fried never got healthy and entered his Game 1 start against the Phillies down 15 pounds. Nobody could’ve executed under those conditions.
The Braves will have another two chances to raise the Commissioner’s Trophy with Fried before he tests free agency. There’s a chance the two sides find common ground in contract negotiations, but Braves Country shouldn’t hold its breath. There’s no animosity between the two sides; however, Fried is close to cashing in on what will likely be a $200+ million deal that Atlanta hasn’t shown a willingness to give out. My advice is to enjoy these last years with Max Fried.
What do you think about Max Fried’s placement on the MLB top 100 players list?
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