- Nick Markakis
If any deal for the Braves was quite as puzzling as the Hector Olivera trade in recent memory it was the addition of Nick Markakis. Adding a veteran outfielder to an expensive deal on a small market rebuilding team was an interesting move but one that seems to be paying off.
Markakis lacks the power that he once flashed as a member of the Orioles but is still a very good hitter. Nick has continued to get some power back after his neck surgery and should continue to play consistently for the Braves this year.
Projected statline- .276 Average-.343 OBP- 62 Runs Scored-61 RBI-2 Stolen Bases-7 Homers
An increase in his K rate and his better power are not a coincidence. With Kemp and Freeman hitting ahead of him there will be less pressure on Markakis this season to be a power hitter and he can focus on returning to what he is best at. Being a high contact hitter while playing above average defense in right field.
With two aging outfielders it will be interesting to see how the Braves continue with one or both of Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis in the outfield. It wouldn’t be surprising to see one of them traded if the Braves don’t start well out of the gate.