How Good Could Atlanta Braves Outfield Be?
The 2013 season of the Atlanta Braves is the talk of baseball lately. Through two awesome moves by general manager Frank Wren, the Braves will run out Jason Heyward in right, Justin Upton in left and B.J. Upton in center. You don’t have to be a statistician to see the promise in those three men. But with the three of them guaranteed to see three years together, how good can they really be?
Jason Heyward will probably grow into a team leader through this year and the next few years. He would have anyway in all likelihood. Last season he took a big step forward after trimming a great deal of weight and it showed in the season numbers he put up. The best thing about him is he still is in his mid-twenties and will hit his prime within the next few years. He has been one of the brightest young stars in the game and will likely build on that this season.
B.J. Upton came to the Braves through free agency. For a long time it looked like the elder Upton would be the only big acquisition throughout the off-season. Had it been the only big move, it still would have been a good one. Upton is just getting into his prime years now and will likely remain a top performer through the next several years.
Justin Upton was the magnificent final piece to the Braves outfield puzzle. He is also in his mid-twenties but already has several years of experience. He has put up all-star numbers in the past and displays all the signs of a budding superstar. It is extremely likely that the next several years will see Justin Upton blossom in a huge way.
It is conceivable that these three could all be members of the 30/30 club with thirty steals and thirty home-runs. Actually, over the next three years it wouldn’t be surprising if all three of the Braves now stellar outfield put up around a .300 batting average, over thirty home runs and over one hundred RBI. That outlook doesn’t even pay attention to their outstanding defensive abilities.
The Upton brothers will no doubt push each other, probably to the best years of their careers. Heyward will be pushed by the brothers as well as the three sharpen each others abilities year in and year out. This could easily be the best all around outfield in Major League Baseball for the next handful of years. I’m not saying they will be the 1915 Tigers, but they might come close before their run is over.