Injuries to Atlanta Braves’ Outfield Could Open Doors
The sudden string of injuries to the Atlanta Braves’ outfield could open doors for young talent. If Justin Upton, B.J. Upton or Jason Heyward go down for any significant length of time, players such as Joey Terdoslavich could see meaningful at-bats at the big league level.
There are a few outfield options within the Braves system, but Terdoslavich, who was called up this week to replace Ramiro Pena, is the player who has the best chance of making an immediate impact.
He carried a .318/.359/.567 line at Gwinnett with 18 home runs and 58 RBIs. He has been a mid-high level prospect since he was drafted in the sixth round of the 2010 draft, but his playing time at the big league level has been blocked to this point. This might not turn into a Puig situation, but if Terdoslavich takes advantage of his opportunity, he has the talent to steal playing time from the Braves’ outfielders for the rest of the season.
Todd Cunningham is another potential option from Gwinnett. He currently sports a .365 OBP with 16 steals in 22 attempts. He could provide a cheap source of station-to-station runs for a team that has lived and died by the home run all season.
Another option, though one less likely of a call-up, is Ernesto Mejia. Mejia plays first base rather than the outfield, but his numbers should get him a look at the big league roster sooner rather than later. The 6-foot-5, 245-pound Venezuelan is second in the International League with 66 RBIs, and tied for second with 24 home runs. If nothing else, he could add pop to a bench that suddenly isn’t so deep.
With the way the Braves’ starting outfield has hit for most of this season, seeing a few new faces might be refreshing for weary fans.