The biggest move of the Braves’ offseason was the trade for Matt Olson, as Atlanta acquired the slugging first baseman for Shea Langeliers, Cristian Pache, and Joey Estes. The Braves then subsequently signed Olson to an eight-year extension. It very well could end up being one of those trades that is a win-win for both parties. With Freddie Freeman on the fence about re-signing with the organization, the Braves needed to act swiftly, and in order to acquire a player within the same realm as Freeman, they had to give up multiple top prospects. The Athletics come to town to begin the week, so it felt like a perfect time to catch up with all the players involved in the biggest blockbuster trade of the offseason.
Despite what some Twitter trolls might have you believe, Olson has been rock solid for the Braves this season. He leads the majors in doubles and finally seems to have found his power stroke of late. Should the Braves expect a little more from Olson moving forward? Absolutely, but an .830 OPS and 127 OPS+ is nothing to scoff at. He’s been a very productive hitter in the middle of the Braves lineup, which is exactly what this team needed.
Unfortunately, the Athletics are realizing what the Braves did last season — Cristian Pache cannot hit at the major-league level. Despite his elite defense in center field, Pache is only batting .167 with a couple of homers this season. And it’s not as if the sample size is minuscule. He’s appeared in 52 games and has a total of six extra-base hits. Because of his defense, Pache still has a chance to carve out a major-league career for himself. But no amount of defense can save him when he’s producing this poorly at the plate.
Langeliers has cooled off considerably since his smoking hot start to the season, but his numbers in his first full year at the AAA level are still excellent. He’s hitting .270 with 11 homers and eight doubles — good for an .859 OPS. That’ll play for a catcher, especially one that is as good defensively as Langeliers. Pache may be disappointing so far for Oakland, but it definitely looks like the Athletics got their backstop of the future in Langeliers.
As a 19-year-old, Estes had a fantastic season in A-ball for the Braves in 2021, posting a 2.91 ERA over 20 starts. 2022, however, hasn’t been as breezy. Estes has a 4.93 ERA in seven starts this season after being promoted to High-A ball.
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