Predicting the 2023 stats of each Braves player — Kirby Yates

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This continues my series where I predict the 2023 stats of each Braves player, moving on to a potential breakout candidate, Kirby Yates. If you missed any of the previous editions to this series, follow the links below

Predicting Kirby Yates 2023 Stats

Kirby Yates isn’t a slam dunk to make the Opening Day roster, but considering the Braves have over $5 million invested in him, they’re going to give him a legitimate chance to find his groove as long as he doesn’t look abysmal in Spring Training.

Yates was once one of the most dominant closers in baseball, accruing a ridiculous 3.4 fWAR during the 2019 season with the Padres — a year in which he posted a near 15.0 K/9 with a 1.19 ERA. Unfortunately, Tommy John surgery has limited Yates to just 11.1 innings in the three years since that season.

It would be foolish to think Yates will return in 2023 and look like the guy that dominated the league in 2018 and 2019. He appeared in nine games for the Braves last season, posting an unsightly 5.14 ERA and 7.71 K/9. However, with a full healthy offseason, I do expect him to become a reliable piece to Atlanta’s bullpen. There’s obvious upside with Yates, but I think the best years of his career are well behind him. Becoming a solid option in middle relief is what I’m projecting.

Kirby Yates 2023 Stat Predictions: 2-2, 3.76 ERA, 4.01 FIP, 10.8 K/9, 0.3 fWAR

Photographer: David J. Griffin/Icon Sportswire

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