Grading the first half of each Braves player (Infield)

Braves Sean Murphy

If you know a Braves fans complaining about what has transpired over the first half of the season, I need to have them on our show to discuss. This might be the greatest half of baseball in Braves franchise history. Multiple MLB records were broken, and the team is on pace to set the franchise record for most wins in the season. There’s nothing to complain about, and that’s reflected in many of these grades.

This continues my series where I evaluate the first half of the season of each Braves player, moving onto the infield. If you missed the first part to this series, follow the link below.

Matt Olson

I’ve never been shy to give Matt Olson grief. Let’s not beat around the bush; he did not come as advertised last season, but he’s put that to bed with his first half in 2023. Olson leads the National League in home runs with 29 and boasts a .926 OPS, which would be the highest of his career over a full season. This is what the Braves expected when they traded for him.

Grade: A

Ozzie Albies

Albies continues to be one of the most underrated players in the game. Sure, there always seems to be a couple of people at his position that turn in better seasons, but Albies’ consistency is unmatched. Every year, he seems to be a lock for 30+ homers and a WAR of around 4.0. This season, he’s currently on pace for more than 40 homers and just secured his third All-Star appearance. Considering he was injured for most of last year, his presence in the lineup has been a breath of fresh air.

Grade: A

Orlando Arcia

Arcia started to slump at the end of the first half, and I’m not sure his production is sustainable, but these grades have nothing to do with what is to come. So far, Arcia has been the biggest surprise on the team, leading to his first All-Star appearance. Nobody could have predicted that to start the year, which is why he deserves the highest grade possible.

Grade: A+

Austin Riley

Riley isn’t having a poor season by any means. In fact, he was even selected to the All-Star Game. But given the expectations are for him to be a perennial MVP candidate, this has definitely been a down first half. I still think we’ll look up, and he will have fantastic numbers at the end of the season, but for now, I can’t give him anything higher than a C+.

Grade: C+

Sean Murphy

If Ronald Acuna Jr. didn’t exist, one could make the argument that Sean Murphy should be the NL MVP. I was a little hesitant to love the trade when it went down, but it’s worked out way better than I ever could have imagined. Not only is Sean Murphy the best defensive catcher in the game, but he’s been the best offensive backstop as well, putting up career numbers across the board, and nothing suggests it is a fluke. Alex Anthopoulos did it again.

Grade: A+

Photo: Rich von Biberstein/Icon Sportswire


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