Thursday, December 5, 2019
Uncustomed Heroes of 2019: Braves
Austin Riley was a smart call-up for the Braves, despite missing some time and lowering his average. Riley still had 49 RBIs in 81 games, and proved to be a nice late-lineup bat for the majority of the summer.
Why Him in 2019?: He was probably the best rookie on this team, and could be a perennial performer for Atlanta for a while.
2020 Prediction: A higher average for a fuller season, and a 25-homer year.
Why Him in 2019?: His downslope led to the rise of Dallas Keuchel, Max Fried and Mike Soroka.
2020 Prediction: Folty will be back to peak numbers, and Hamels' influence will help him immensely.
Why Him in 2019?: Hecha was a valuable infield presence when #1 draft pick Dansby Swanson couldn't be.
2020 Prediction: Someone with some heft will sign him, and use him as a backup infielder...til the starter gets injured and he returns to dominance.
Why Him in 2019?: Because this was Joyce's biggest crack at a starting gig since Pittsburgh
2020 Prediction: He'll be a late-offseason signing, and he won't get nearly as much playing time as he did in 2019.
Why Him in 2019?: Proof that there are good relievers in Atlanta...they're just all failed starters.
2020 Prediction: Will start some games, possibly 5th in the rotation, and reclaim some of his goodwill before being moved back to the bullpen following a July acquisition.
Why Him in 2019?: Proved he could still hit for distance after last year.
2020 Prediction: Will get some starts, but will mostly be a sturdy, reliable bench bat for the Braves. And he might have one big postseason moment.
Why Him in 2019?: Because every strong first half needs an epilogue, and if I didn't make one of his Braves tenure, I'd be pretending it didn't happen.
2020 Prediction: He gets the ninth back and ends 2020 with 25 saves.
Why Him in 2019?: Billy got his first postseason steal ever with the Braves.
2020 Prediction: I wouldn't be surprised if KC re-signs him, or at least someone similarly out of the conversation. And he'll do reasonably well for them.
Why Him in 2019?: Because he triumphed when he could have quit, and made it to the postseason.
2020 Prediction: Will probably be a backup somewhere. Possibly Seattle?
Coming Tomorrow- They just missed another postseason run, but the Brewers are far from out of it for 2020.