The Atlanta Braves 2014 Leading Men

Jordan Schafer

Jordan Schafer

Trying to guess what the Atlanta Braves batting order will be in 2014 is like trying to guess who will win all the brackets in the NCAA basketball tournament.  For instance, who would have thought at this time last year that Jason Heyward would ignite the Braves from the lead-off spot?

I’m not going to guess what Fredi Gonzalez will do about the lead-off spot this season, but I am going to give you my opinions on what makes most sense and why.

In the lead-off spot I want a guy who can get on base and has fourth gear speed.  Sure Heyward did a great job batting first last season, but I don’t want him leading off.  Having Heyward taking pitches and slapping the ball is like driving a Ferrari in the right lane.  As Heyward continues to develop physically and at the plate, he has the potential to be one of the most feared power hitters in the game.  I want him hitting further down in the line-up and developing his power stroke.

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Jordan Schafer should bat lead-off against right-handed pitching this season.  He showed mental and physical maturity last season, and lets not forget…not all that long ago Schafer was the number one prospect in the Braves organization.

Schafer showed what he could do last season, before suffering a leg injury.  Schafer is also an upgrade defensively over B.J. Upton.

B.J. Upton bats lead-off against lefties and needs to start going to right-field more and forget trying to jerk everything into downtown Atlanta.  B.J. already has his money, he doesn’t need to hit home runs and drive in runs to get paid.  He needs to help his team win games.  He can do that by focusing on getting on base and using his speed to put pressure on the defense.  If he can’t do that, then he needs to stake out a position on the bench next to the Gatorade.

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rick staley
rick staley

Agree wholeheartedly with your suggestion Jim regarding the platoon in CF and at the appex of the batting order too. I don’t care if the Braves over payed for Bossman Upton in 2013 because it brought his brother Justin to Atlanta. I would love to see the Braves lock up Justin because he has avoided injury in his career much better than Jason Heyward. J-Hey seemingly has his eyes set on Broadway…imho.

Rick James
Rick James

Jason was raised in Georgia and was a Braves fan, he wants to be in Atlanta not “Broadway”. Besides if he was ready to leave he wouldn’t have signed a new deal, he would have let arbitration play out.

rick staley
rick staley
I respect your opinion Rick James, but i disagree with why he signed recently buying up his arb-eligibility. He is guaranteed the $13.3 million so he can now just relax and if he signs an extension with Atlanta, that would be awesome! However, after his first injury in 2010 a reporter covering the Braves ask Jason about becoming the face of the franchise when Chipper & McCann left. His response was, “it is way too early for such talk(agreed), and since I grew up a Yankees fan too…well, the future is not here yet. Thus, I’ll just worry about rehab… Read more »
dan harvey
dan harvey
Hi Jim. You confused me a bit. I think you stated Jordan should play everyday, but BJ should leadoff against lefties. First, I loved Jason in the leadoff spot last late year. As you said, though, hehais too much power to not be in the middle of the lineup. If it between batting Jason first versus second, though, where he batted much of last season, then his power factor has already been somewhat compromised anyway. But, back to Justin and BJ. If Schafer has a good spring then I hope FG gives him the CF position and leadoff spot everyday… Read more »
HCH101
HCH101

I think Jordan should play every day, because he is the best defensively and has an uncanny Knack for getting on base and then putting pressure on the defense, More than anything else I want the Braves to win. GO BRAVES!!

Mike Crowe
Mike Crowe
Platooning at the major league level is embarrassing. That’s for football and for giving a manger something to make him feel useful between making up the lineup card and going out to pull the starting pitcher. Schafer isn’t going to hit against lefties if he never faces them. If he can’t, then find somebody that can be halfway consistant against both. Fredi Gonzo has patients with Upton and Ugla to fail all the way through September – six months ……… excuse me just a moment please, I still can’t get over that one. …… Okay, but he won’t let Schafer… Read more »
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