Atlanta Braves rookie Evan Gattis burst onto the scene like a house on fire in the first two months of the season, clubbing 12 home runs and knocking in 32 runs, while compiling a batting average of .281.
The 27 year old went cold from there, as pitchers seemingly figured him out and made him pay for his crouching batting stance that makes it harder for him to reach high fastballs. Gattis’ average continued to plummet, and his homer and RBI totals increased at a much, much slower pace, resulting in a late August demotion to the minor leagues.
After a few days of tearing the cover off the ball at Triple-A Gwinnett, Gattis was called back up, and he hasn’t stopped hitting yet. In his first game back he tallied three hits, including a solo blast, as the Braves beat the New York Mets 3-1. Coming into Tuesday’s game against the Miami Marlins, he had added four more hits in 18 at-bats, all of the extra base variety (two homers and two doubles).
As a result of his spectacular work this month, all as a left fielder, Gattis entered Tuesday’s contest batting .333 with five RBIs, a .364 on-base percentage, and an .857 slugging percentage in September. While his time in the outfield has been an adventure at times, given that he’s a natural catcher, he has been such a presence in the lineup that Braves manager Fredi Gonzalez would be foolish to take him out.
Because of Gattis’ reemergence, he may have a chance to prove himself on an even bigger stage come October.