Atlanta Braves: 2015 End of Season Player Grades

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Sep 10, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves third baseman

Hector Olivera

(28) bats against the New York Mets in the eighth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Adonis Garcia: What is Garcia? A third baseman? An outfielder? Does he even know? Because we sure can’t tell. Despite his defensive limitation/liability, Adonis proved himself a productive hitter and made the most out of his opportunity in the big leagues. The man made his major league debut at the tender age of 30 this past season, giving guys like Joey Terdoslavich and Todd Cunningham hope for the future. Garcia was one of 3 hitters this past year to hit double-digit home runs (10), and he did it in fewer than 200 plate appearances. While his .293 OBP and his 1:7 BB/K rate an underwhelming, his .497 slugging percentage was a bright spot in a sea of sub-.400s. It is uncertain entirely what Garcia will be able to provide going forward, or if his power will be a permanent fixture, but he was a shot in the arm in many ways in 2015. For that, I’ll give him a B+. Or maybe an A-. Sue me. Final Grade: B+/A-

Hector Olivera: Because who can ever have enough 30-year-old rookies on one squad? Olivera did not come cheap as the Braves shifted top prospect Jose Peraza and beloved, funky throwing LHP Alex Wood to the Dodgers to acquire him. Perpetually pitching rich but always devoid of offense, the Braves made the move intending to add a big impact bat into the lineup for the next 4-5 years. After much waiting, Olivera made his debut on September 1. Over the final month, Hector played in 24 games and collected 87 plate appearances. For a guy who had missed a lot of time recently to injury and was seeing major league pitching for the first time, Olivera actually responded pretty well. A .253/.310/.405/.706 line might seem pedestrian for the future of the hot corner and the Braves’ top prospect, but it really wasn’t terrible considering his various ailments and rust. His power showed up briefly when he hit 2 homers and 4 doubles, while his defense was less than stellar, raising questions about his positional future. At times Olivera’s swing seemed very exploitable as he was prone to chase breaking stuff

Aug 8, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves second baseman Jace Peterson (8) is greeted by manager

Fredi Gonzalez

(33) after scoring a run against the Miami Marlins during the second inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Dale Zanine-USA TODAY Sports

low and away with a big, loopy hack. Hopefully he can overcome those issues working with Kevin Seitzer and Bo Porter this winter in Puerto Rico. His potential probably demands I be harsher on him, but Olivera went through many firsts and challenges in his months with the Atlanta Braves organization. I am going to give him a cautious B while being optimistic about the future. Final Grade: B

Jace Peterson: Jace, Jace, Jace. What are we going to do with you? The former Padre impressed the Atlanta Braves brass in spring training and opened the season as the everyday second baseman, a title he never fully relinquished, though he did his best to blur the distinction. While his final line of .239/.314/.335/.649 might seem disappointing, it was really a tale of two seasons. The first half, Jace was one of the more consistent forces in the lineup hitting atop the order and setting the table. He knocked a respectable .252/.328/.348 line before the all-star break. Afterwards he hit a very pedestrian .221/.293/.319. While he likely gave into some pressure in the first few months when it came to his defense, Peterson eventually settled down and combined with Andrelton Simmons to form one of the premier defensive middle infields in baseball. He has speed though he was largely unsuccessful stealing bags this year, swiping 12 in 22 attempts. Experience should help to iron that out, plus the Braves have never been known for their expertise in stealing bases. If Jace can improve on his first half numbers, he will be a valuable top of the order bat, or even be a good speed guy at the bottom of the order while also playing smooth defense. The ability to make adjustments will be the key for him. In 2015 Jace struggled to adjust as the summer wore on, so I’m going to give him a C+ with the hope that he can build on 2015 going into next year and claim the starting gig at second for good. Final Grade: C+

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