To this point in the series, I’ve been strictly focused on left-handed bats, which is what Alex Anthopoulos said he is focused on leading up to the deadline. However, this right-handed bat and former Braves prospect is another option that makes a lot of sense.
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While Drury may not fill the Braves need for a left-handed bat, he possesses a lot of other attributes Anthopoulos might covet. Most importantly, he’s incredibly versatile defensively. Drury can play second or third base and in the outfield. That’s important, because while everything is grooving right now for the Braves, things could take a turn for the worse for several players. Eddie Rosario could never return to the player he was last year. Michael Harris II could hit a rookie wall. Adam Duvall and Orlando Arcia could become tomato cans at any moment, and Marcell Ozuna may never break out of his current funk.
The best way to counteract all of those unknowns is by keeping your options open, and Drury — who is having a career year for himself out in Cincinnati — offers Brian Snitker just that. On the season, Drury has an .858 OPS highlighted by a .528 slugging percentage. In just 62 games, he has 15 homers, which is just two off of his career high.
Of course, the biggest concern with Drury is how sustainable his current production is. He’s 29-years-old, and he’s never performed this well. However, he was a utility man for the Mets last season and was more than serviceable, recording a .783 OPS over 52 games. And even more convincing are his Baseball Savant metrics, which paint the picture of a player who could provide a lot for a team in the playoffs. Drury is in the 80th percentile in HardHit%, 76th percentile in Barrel %, and 75th percentile in xSLG.
I understand the desire for a left-handed bat, especially with Rosario’s future unclear, but the Braves could do a lot worse than Drury. He’s a very solid utility player — one that is performing like and All-Star right now and shouldn’t cost the Braves too much prospect capital.
Photographer: Zachary BonDurant/Icon Sportswire