Atlanta Braves 2014 Spring Training Profile: Tommy La Stella
Though he has been a promising prospect for some time now in a few eyes, Tommy La Stella really took center stage at the end of the Atlanta Braves 2013 season. When they were discussing looking to trade current second baseman Dan Uggla, La Stella was mentioned more than a few times as a potential candidate for an open second base job if the Braves didn’t get a MLB veteran.
That is not going to happen. First of all the Braves hung on to Uggla because they couldn’t find someone willing to take on his salary. Also they are hoping that Uggs will produce in a way that makes his salary seem just right in 2014. For La Stella, his 2013 season at Double-A was outstanding and that is why he was brought to attention of many during this situation.
While he is heading most certainly for Triple-A to start the season, don’t be shocked at the attention he gets this Spring Training season. He comes across as a scrappy kind of second baseman possibly in the same style as former Braves two-bagger Marcus Giles. La Stella will hope to prove that his budding offensive skills are there to stay but that isn’t the main focus this spring.
Chances are good that his offense is an attribute that will stick around. Once that is proven there is still the larger question of whether or not his defense will be good enough to warrant everyday play. At this point in his promising career it could really go either way. This spring will be when the Braves either decide he is their next everyday second baseman or someone that will need to be used in a different way.