Ranking the Top 10 Most Valuable Atlanta Braves Players
Top 10 Altanta Braves Most Valuable Players
It takes a lot of great performances by players to lead a team to a division title and the Atlanta Braves are going to accomplish that handily this season. While the Braves have a great team, few stars stand amongst the group, instead the team is built up with quality players from the top of the roster to the bottom (except a certain two, who happen to have the biggest contracts).
Most of the players have made similar contributions to the team, with solid defense or a reliable bat, most everyone on the team brings something good to the plate. Some honorable mentions are Tim Hudson and Reed Johnson.
Hudson provided the Braves quality starts for the first half of the season, leading the staff as he always done. Once he left, the younger pitchers in the staff like Alex Wood and Julio Teheran had to step up and did so very well. R. Johnson gives the Braves quality at-bats and defense in over 126 games and he’s been reliable all season.
So, what players on the Braves have been the most valuable to the team? Follow the slideshow to see what I think.
10. Elliot Johnson
Elliot Johnson has provided great back-up production for the struggling Dan Uggla. His bat has been better than what the Braves would get from Uggla and his defense is certainly better as well.
9. Evan Gattis
Evan Gattis has given the Braves power depth with his reliable backup performances. While he does play backup for Brian McCann, his bat is so good that Fredi Gonzalez has often played him at left field to get his bat in the lineup.
8. Ramiro Pena
Ramiro Pena hasn’t appeared in a game for months due to a season ending injury but his contributions early in the season were more valuable than you might remember. In the 107 games that he played in, Pena accrued one WAR due to great hitting and good defense. He ranks seventh overall in WAR for the Braves.
7. Jordan Schafer
Jordan Schafer is awesome. He’s been the perfect replacement for B.J. Upton, who has had the worst year of his career, and has made contributions to the team in many ways. He provides the team with decent hitting, great fielding and awesome base-stealing ability. He’s stolen 21 bases in only 85 games.
6. Chris Johnson
Chris Johnson is currently fighting for the NL batting title. His defense has improved and he’s made Chipper Jones’ absence at third a non-issue.
5. Justin Upton
Justin Upton is one of the streakiest players in the game, at least this season. Despite that, when he’s hot, he’s extremely hot.
4. Brian McCann
Since his return to the team after missing the beginning of the season, Brian McCann has given the Braves great offensive production and he has helped develop the young pitching staff that has carried the Braves to where they are now.
3. Jason Heyward
Jason Heyward has really started to show why the Braves organization believed in him so much. His defense is one of the best in the majors at the outfield and his 1.2 defensive WAR is second best on the team. If his bat returns to where it was before his jaw injury, Heyward could make the turn from young questionable player, to a phenom coming into his own.
2. Freddie Freeman
Freddie Freeman has been amazing this season. Not only is he fun to watch, but he’s the most productive offensive player on the team. Freeman always gives a good at-bat and has the highest success rate with runners in scoring position this year.
1. Andrelton Simmons
Andrelton Simmons is the unheralded hero for the Braves. His bat started weak but has improved as the season has gone on. However, his defense is where he really makes his contributions. Simmons has 5.3 WAR from defense alone, far superior to any other player in the MLB.Related: