The Braves shocked the baseball world by winning 90 games, and most importantly, capturing the NL East crown for the first time since 2013. They did so with a bevy of young talent they acquired through trades, the draft and international market over the last five years. Talent that is just beginning to scratch the surface in multiple ways.
The young players that helped put this team back into playoff contention like Ronald Acuña, Ozzie Albies, Dansby Swanson and several others have plenty of ways to go in terms of improvement. Meanwhile, several other talented young prospects have yet to even crack the big league roster. By this time next year, we could be talking about Kyle Wright and Austin Riley the same way we talk about Newcomb and Acuña.
That is why it is no surprise the Braves are being talked about as a team to watch out for in the near future. Which leads to the question, will the Braves win the World Series in the next 5 years?
According to a recent article on FanGraphs, they’ve got one of the best shots of anybody. The author uses several categories such as short-term MLB talent, upper minor-league prospects, payroll ceiling and many more to determine who has the best chance of capturing a World Series in the next five years. The Braves come in at number 5 on the list, behind only the Dodgers, Astros, Yankees and Indians. They actually finished a spot better than the Boston Red Sox, who look to be well on their way to winning the World Series this year.
Here is a brief excerpt of what the author, Kiley McDaniel, had to say about the Braves,
“The Braves have the best farm system of the clubs in this top tier and arguably have the best controllable MLB talent, as well, with Nick Markakis and Kurt Suzuki headlining the pending free agents. The farm system has lost some depth, and international sanctions will limit the opportunity to add to it in coming years, but it will take years before that will be felt in any real way. If this group of young players develops as expected, there will be little effect at all.”
The long rebuild the Braves committed to has clearly paid off. They already have a playoff team, and their GM Alex Anthopolous has a treasure chest of options to work with. The Braves payroll is set to be among the lowest in the entire MLB heading into this offseason, meaning Anthopolous has the power to pull off pretty much any deal he wants. However, he’s made it clear that may not be the direction the Braves go in this year.
Atlanta could be a much bigger player in the trade market, with a logjam of players MLB-ready. That’s a nice problem to have, and one Anthopoulos will look to make the most of in the winter. Be prepared for some blockbuster trades, then Atlanta might search the free agent market at some point to complete a championship contender.
Regardless of how Anthopoulos goes about it, the Braves are set to be in the thick of things for the foreseeable future. There is talent up and down the levels of the organization and plenty of money to be spent as well. The expectation for this team going forward is no longer playoffs; it is World Series. Anything else has to be viewed as a failure.
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