Just ten days ago, many fans weren’t sure what to expect when the Braves called up Travis Demeritte. But since then, he has endeared himself to Braves Country about as fast as anyone I can remember. Now the question is — is this success sustainable over the entire season?
Through only six games, the 27-year-old has gone 7-18 in Atlanta, hitting two homers (one being his inside-the-parker last night). As a result, he’s posted a 1.228 OPS. That may not be sustainable, but that doesn’t mean Demeritte couldn’t end up being a mainstay in Atlanta for the rest of the season. In addition to his offense, he has substantially improved the outfield defense, which was a major sore spot for the team early on. It’s allowed the Braves to comfortably slot Ozuna in as the DH, while Demeritte, Duvall, and Acuña roam the outfield.
Travis Demeritte TURNS ON THE JETS 💨
Inside-the-park home run. pic.twitter.com/L2n0wz5cPP
— Bally Sports: Braves (@BravesOnBally) April 30, 2022
Nobody expects Demeritte to maintain these video-game numbers all season, but his meteoric rise is reminiscent of another outfielder: Cedric Mullins. While Demeritte isn’t a center fielder like the Orioles star, he could put up similar stats at the dish. Looking at his numbers from the minors, Demeritte has routinely put up a slash line like this — .285/.370/.570. In a full season, he can probably add about 20 homers or so, while playing above average defense and providing plenty of speed on the base paths.
Those numbers are eerily similar to Mullins’ 2021 All-Star season where he slashed .291/.360/.518 with 30 home runs. If Demeritte has figured out major-league pitching, and it’s looking like he has, he could be a similar player to Mullins. That’s an especially terrifying proposition for opponents. Adding Demeritte to an already deep lineup and an outfield group consisting of Acuña, Ozuna, Duvall, and Rosario (when he returns) will have the Braves looking like the favorites to repeat come October.
Another benefit of carrying Demeritte on the roster is that he also provides some infield depth. In the past, Travis has played a lot at second base with a bit of time at third, shortstop, and even first base. It’s reassuring to have such a versatile player on the roster, and I can’t imagine the Braves have plans of sending him back to Gwinnett any time soon.
Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire