Even without Chipper Jones in the starting lineup for the first time since 1995, things are looking up for the Atlanta Braves in 2013. Several players saw their exit from Atlanta in the offseason, but the team added some big names to replace those lost.
What does the Braves’ roster look like heading into the 2013 season?
Free Agent Acquisitions
B.J. Upton – Upton spent the first eight seasons of his big-league career with the Tampa Bay Rays before signing a five-year deal to take his talents to Atlanta. He is a career .255 hitter with 118 home runs, 447 RBIs, 232 stolen bases and a .758 OPS.
Gerald Laird – The Braves brought in the veteran whom could get a lot of playing time with Brian McCann expected to miss time at the start of the season due to injury. In 63 games a year ago with the Detroit Tigers, Laird hit .282 with two home runs and 11 RBIs.
Chipper Jones – One of the greatest players in the history of Major League Baseball called it quits in the offseason, leaving a huge hole in the Atlanta lineup.
Martin Prado – The fan-favorite was a major part of the trade that brought Justin Upton to the Braves. The deal also sent prospect Randall Delgado to the Arizona Diamondbacks while bringing Chris Johnson to Atlanta as the replacement for Jones.
Tommy Hanson – Once believed to be the ace in waiting in the Atlanta rotation, Hanson saw his exit from the East Coast for setup pitcher Jordan Walden. Hanson spent four seasons with the Braves, but struggled to match the production he had in 21 starts as a rookie.
Last Year’s Record
94-68, second in National League East. Lost in wild-card game to St. Louis Cardinals
Projected Batting Order
1. Andrelton Simmons, SS
2. Jason Heyward, RF
3. Justin Upton, LF
4. Freddie Freeman, 1B
5. B.J. Upton, CF
6. Dan Uggla, 2B
7. Chris Johnson or Juan Francisco, 3B
8. Gerald Laird, C
1. Tim Hudson
2. Kris Medlen
3. Mike Minor
4. Paul Maholm
5. Julio Teheran
Cory Gearrin, Cristhian Martinez, Eric O’Flaherty, Jordan Walden, Johny Venters
More from this contributor:
Comparing Kimbrel to Great Closers
Chipper Jones’ Favorite MLB Ballparks
Top Moments in the Career of Chipper Jones
Troubled World Series History for Atlanta Braves
Five Bold Predictions for 2013 Atlanta Braves
Hobson Lopes has been a fan of the Atlanta Braves since he was five-years old and can be followed on Twitter @HobsonLopes.