We wrap up the infield portion of this series with the hot corner, a place where the Braves will eventually have to make a difficult decision. If you missed any of the previous installments, click the links below.
The Braves currently have two major-league ready third baseman, and they are battling it out for the starting role this year. Johan Camargo may have a slight edge after Austin Riley’s mega slump to end last season, but Riley has always been viewed as the third baseman of the future, and that hasn’t changed as of yet.
Camargo enters his first year of arbitration next year and is not a free agent until 2024. Austin Riley isn’t set to become a free agent until 2026. Both are starting-caliber options, and eventually, the Braves will have to make a tough decision and establish a full-time starter. When that happens, the other will probably find himself on the trade block.
There aren’t any AAA third base options in the Braves future, but there are some at the AA level that could factor into the picture. However, overtaking Riley or Camargo will be extremely difficult to do. The highest-ranked prospect that could play third base for Atlanta is Braden Shewmake. He’s listed as a middle infielder and has played shortstop thus far in his short professional career, but Shewmake is the type of player that can play all over the infield and may be better off at second or third base in the majors.
The other candidate is friend of the podcast C.J. Alexander. It’s been a rough two years for the 24-year-old after he burst onto the scene in 2018, hitting .352 over three levels in his first stint of professional ball. However, he started 2019 slow, and then injuries limited him to just 43 games. This year was going to be huge for him, and now it’s been canceled because of the coronavirus. Hopefully, he can have a better start to 2021, where he will likely begin in Mississippi.