9:32 pm November 12, 2012, by David O'Brien
November 19th, 20126:48 am
Mejia is a big tall hunk of man… very slow of foot. Wouldnt make it in LF… very little range, he’s not agile. I’m surprised it took until now to get him on the 40man… woulda used him over Ske the last year.
Re Key: I always was told that rudeness was the best policy.
November 19th, 20126:52 am
My phone is very slow to this site as well… really does sukk. My 4g speed turns into dial-up!
November 19th, 20127:15 am
November 19th, 2012
Ernesto Mejia hit his 10th homer in his 32nd game in Venezuelan Winter League on Sunday. Dude is OPSing in high .900s
Is he capable of a little occasional LF duty? surely he’s no worse than Hinske.
November 19th, 20127:19 am
Wow, that Gyorko kid sure crushed it at AAA. 16.7% K rate, not bad. Did you link to that because you thought he was an option? Headley has 3B blocked at SD.
November 19th, 20127:23 am
What about this guy for our RH banger? He looks pretty good to me:
.287 /.369/.508/.877, 33 HRs, 131 OPS+, 135 sRC+
November 19th, 20127:25 am
Yep, that’s Dan Uggla in 2010.
After fixating on all these numbers for a big RH bat in CF or LF, I just went back and looked at the 2010 Uggla. It makes you really appreciate what a fantastic deal it was on paper–really a superb job by Wren, including the contract.
It also makes you appreciate what a crushing disappointment he has been.
November 19th, 20127:33 am
Is everyone on board with the idea of Prado or Simmons at lead off, IF THAT IS THE MOST BENEFICIAL ROUTE FOR OBTAINING TWO OUTFIELDERS/3B?
We would all rather have Span or Gordon, or someone like them leading off, but having Prado and Simmons as back up options sure gives you a lot more flexibility in filling your two spots.
nolie, the Gyorko link made me think of this. BJ in center and Gyorko at 3B–neither gives you a lead off batter. There are other combinations that do the same thing–i.e., leave you with either Prado or Simmons as your lead off batter.
Personally, I think Simmons looked in total command and control at the plate last year, and he could easily develop into a good lead off type guy.
November 19th, 20127:52 am
Flange – 12oz. curls, huh? I think that may have helped the other day, when I had my GF video a solid shot. I was expecting to see Ernie Els in the vid. It was not. Sad.
I keep thinking about rebuilding this Winter, but I’m scared. Don’t want to lose the feel or have to spend 2 years fighting the old to bring in the new..and my back hurts..and it’s work..and we’re just out for a good time..and that what handicaps are for…and dammit, I hate that game…
Oh..high of 65 degrees! Let’s tee it up.
November 19th, 20127:59 am
I wouldn’t like to see Simmons leading off, or hitting 2. Still have questions about his bat, and he did play only 49 games last year. However, if the choice is between Simmons 2 or BJ 2, I’d go with Simmons. Would prefer that he hit 7th though.
Perfectly fine with Prado leading off if it comes to that. Add that to Hamilton in CF, Olt at 3B, what an offense!
November 19th, 20128:23 am
How true on all points!
A friend has gone over to the Taylor Made teaching center at Lake Oconee and got his swing totally digitized. It is amazing how much he learned about his swing nad how to improve by getting those computer files.
And because he (and Taylor Made) keep the files, he can compare on down the road.
I have never been into all of the video/computer simulations, but this seems like a pretty good idea!
November 19th, 20129:12 am
Flange – Yes. One of my playing partners has done that. But, he has become obsessed with getting home to compare today’s swing with yesterdays. The game has become about checking arm position and wrist cupping. I asked him one day, if he saw a Fox and her pups that were running across the fairway (as he was checking his arm angle) His response, “Huh? Oh..uh huh..does it look like i’m too flat on my swing plane?” I wanted to wring his neck.
Thing is, we all do it occasionally. It’s a sickness, I’m telling you. OCGD. And, it ain’t about the damn score. It’s about the feel of the center of the clubface! The feel of the square launch. The holy grail of grooves! Help. Help.
November 19th, 20129:22 am
And, it ain’t about the damn score. It’s about the feel of the center of the clubface! The feel of the square launch. The holy grail of grooves!
Wouldn’t you agree that we here at the blog fall into the same trap, all too often? We get so caught up in player value, contract length, statistics, and every other damn thing…sometimes, I wonder if we remember the grass is green, the sky is blue, the ball is white, and that all that really matters is that the third goes skipping along or sailing through the other two.
November 19th, 20129:26 am
ajc sports editor @ajcsportseditor
Revealing piece on Pete van Wieren’s battle with cancer http://on.11alive.com/UOOQZj #braves
November 19th, 20129:30 am
Frank Wren on visit with Upton:
“We spent the better part of six hours on Thursday with B.J. and his representative Larry Reynolds. It was really an opportunity for all of us to get to know each other and we started off with down on the field, you know, literally we walked down on the field and it was a beautiful 60-degree day in Atlanta and just looked at the dimensions; we talked about how the ball carried, I mean, all things you may or may not know if you’re coming in to visit. We walked through the whole clubhouse environment whether it was the player lounge or the food room, all the training facilities, the weightlifting facilities, the video room, the coach’s room, where we do our advanced meetings, and then the clubhouse proper, and you try to introduce them to as many people as possible.
We were fortunate that day that [hitting coach] Greg Walker could come up from Douglas, Georgia and sit down and kinda give B.J. a sense of his philosophies on hitting and coaching hitting. Fredi Gonzalez was there to talk, so he got a sense of what his manager’s personality is like, and we were also very fortunate that Bobby Cox was in town and Bobby was there. Bobby had a chance to sit and tell stories and relay some of his thoughts about Atlanta and the like, and then we went up to the offices and we sat in the office and talked a little bit more about organizational philosophy and also giving him a snapshot of what our system looks like and the young players and the guys he’s going to be surrounded with if he’s an Atlanta Brave.”
November 19th, 20129:31 am
“The ball is white”
Not for lack of effort on Charlie Finlay’s part.
November 19th, 20129:34 am
On the need to add balance to a left-handed heavy lineup:
Wren: “I think right-handed is where we are a little limited, and I think it showed up a little bit this past year. It was a little tougher for Fredi to balance out our club with all of our left-handed hitters, so I think that is something that we’re cognizant of. As we look at building our team, especially in the middle of the lineup, we need to have a little more right-handed presence. It just gives (Fredi) more flexibility in building that lineup facing left-handed pitching.”
November 19th, 20129:35 am
On Martin Prado:
Wren: “…In a perfect world, we probably would like Martin to play third base for us and come up with a couple of outfielders.”
Yep the old golf swing analysis that brings on paralysis. Couch Tater, you are correct on club head feel. Squaring it up correctly. You swing to your physique. Learn to return the club at impact as it best fits you no question. Right now I agree that arm position and hinging are huge. They creat lag in the swing. If RH the left arm and hand are key. Once the right arm and hand take over anywhere prior to the hitting zone you are toast. May as well go fishing. Doesn’t matter if you swing flat or upright just don’t let the right side take over too soon. Most of today’s and yesterday’s ball strikers have a flatter plane. Tiger is trying to get there. McIlroy is there. Sergio has been there. It’s all about Ben Hogan these days and his swing. It ain’t rocket science…we just make it that way.
November 19th, 20129:38 am
BJ Upton isn’t really a good RH presence though….
November 19th, 20129:42 am
Cox just “happened” to be in town….lol
Wren plays us all for fools. Of course, many of us are just that.
that would rule out Swisher as well I’m sure, Hamilton wouldn’t be as high on the list as BJ…..
Justin or Willy, please.
November 19th, 20129:43 am
Wouldn’t you agree that we here at the blog fall into the same trap
scoots – Exactly. I understand the fun of the analytic side, but a pitcher getting the hit when it’s least expected? Reminds me of the backyard games. I love it.
November 19th, 20129:48 am
Good Morning all. Hope everyone had a good weekend. I did as my Packers won again…5 in a row and I’m hoping for a little help from the Niners tonight so the Pack can take over 1st place in the North which is right where they belong. Go Pack Go!
So it’s the week of Thanksgiving and I really hope this Upton guy decides one way or another where he wants to play and I believe he will even if Bowman doesn’t think so. Would like to see some kind of movement before the Winter meetings. If Upton decides on another team I’m afraid of who Wren will settle for. If he goes all in for Hamilton then I hope Upton says no but if he goes after a Ross/Pagan then I want Bossman. Also, I want either Gordon(who I believe can be had) or Myers(who I believe is next to impossible to obtain) from KC. Perfect match up to trade with that team as they need pitching.
November 19th, 20129:49 am
Fredi G made it clear on XM radio this morning, that BJ was their top choice.
November 19th, 20129:52 am
someone needs to kidnap Frank….
November 19th, 20129:56 am
Dadgum – Mentally, I used to be able to justify my length because everyone on tour was over 6 ft. tall. Then, comes that Irishman.
..and the 14 year old girl. Bah.
Also, I want either Gordon(who I believe can be had) or Myers(who I believe is next to impossible to obtain) from KC. Perfect match up to trade with that team as they need pitching.
So far, Wren hasn’t shown any desire to trade any pitching. Not even low-A scrubs on their third trip through the level, LOL. KC isn’t going to trade either of those two players for filler, and I can’t get my mind around Wren trading Medlen or Minor. I mean, he might, nothing’s impossible, but he hasn’t shown any inclination, in the past, to do such a thing.
November 19th, 20129:58 am
Tater – I hope you are talking about golf.
and then we went up to the offices and we sat in the office and talked a little bit more about organizational philosophy and also giving him a snapshot of what our system looks like and the young players and the guys he’s going to be surrounded with if he’s an Atlanta Brave.”
DeMacio: “We like polished, command/control LHP’s that sit 88-90mph. Pitchers that do throw in the mid-90’s, most likely profile as relievers and lacka third pitch”.
“For bats, we like older college bats that are athletic types that don’t really have even an average hit tool”.
November 19th, 201210:00 am
Well, maybe we’ll get lucky and Greg Walker can convince Upton (like he did Uggla) that it’s all right to take pitches. I shudder to think of both of them going stone cold at the same time, though.
When asked about Hamilton, Fredi said that if they missed out on BJ, they would consider all other options. (pretty much what you would expect him to say…I didn’t really get the impression that they would seriously go after Josh).
November 19th, 201210:03 am
Efrim – I know that was tongue-in-cheek. The truth is, Wren has probably done the best he could do, under the circumstances. We’ll see now, since he has some resources for a change.
November 19th, 201210:04 am
If Wren fails on Upton, I think he goes the trade route with some team. Although I guess ge could turn to another FA.
All up in the air right now. I thought we’d see at least one big name come off the board before Turkey Day including Torii Hunter, but maybe not and the 11/26-12/21 will be nuts, as usual.
November 19th, 201210:09 am
Well, maybe we’ll get lucky and Greg Walker can convince Upton (like he did Uggla) that it’s all right to take pitches.
Sure hope so, cuz I can’t see his average rising any… He’s gonna be a .245 hitter. Please accept a move to LF if he is signed… please.
November 19th, 201210:19 am
Sure hope so, cuz I can’t see his average rising any… He’s gonna be a .245 hitter.
I doubt the Braves would be pursuing him, if they thought similarly.
November 19th, 201210:21 am
OnlyBraves – I can take a .245-.260 BA from a power hitter IF he raises the OBP to .340 or so. It’s a trade off for the power.
November 19th, 201210:24 am
raliegh – Gee thanks. Now, I’ve got to head over to the gymnastics blog and tell them I was discussing wedges, last night. Not wedgies.
November 19th, 201210:27 am
WTH? I before e except after L?
November 19th, 201210:28 am
Agree Lew… but, boy, it’s gonna take one heckuva improvement in his pitch selection for that to happen. Gotta take abut 25% more walks than he’s averaged the last 4 years….
Upton has great speed and covers a lot of ground in center, he would be a great fit in the spacious Turner Field,
If the Phillies were to let him slip away to Atlanta, the Phillies are going to have to deal with him….preventing runs in center field against them for years to come.
November 19th, 201210:30 am
whats going down today
feel it in the air yet?
November 19th, 201210:37 am
BJ Upton has slugged .422 for his career, .420 in his last 4 years. That compares to Shane Victorino’s career slugging, in fact, Shane has outslugged BJ the last 4 years. Simmons is expected to be in that range. Bourjos and Jon Jay are expected to slug in the .410s.
I’m not seeing BJ as being that huge, great power RH thumper we need. Just not seeing it. Especially having watched quite a few games that he’s played…
but, boy, it’s gonna take one heckuva improvement in his pitch selection for that to happen [Upton improving at the plate].
I imagine you would have denigrated Alex Gordon, also, prior to 2011. He had four years even worse than Upton.
Magically, he managed to extricate himself from the .230 abyss by his age-27 season, and now he is beloved by one and all here in Braves’ Nation.
November 19th, 201210:38 am
I just don’t follow these other teams enough to really know about these FAs, but if Upton is streaky, which for Uggla has meant god awful, then I don’t know if I can stomach another flailer who we can be assured will probably stink up the joint next year. As it is, I foresee a pretty bad season offensively on the horizon. Little speed, huge strikeout numbers, average power numbers at best. Waiting on the three run homer each night will quickly get old. The pitching should be good, but the streaky hitting just won’t cut it. Again.
Bring back Chipper…
November 19th, 201210:39 am
i aint got no info
just feelslike somethings getting worked out
Well, Uggla raised his total by aboiut 33% last year – 62 to 94BB and by about 25% over his 2010 total of 78, so it can be done. However Uggla DID have a 92BB season with the Dead Fish.
Gary, what’s the good word?
November 19th, 201210:42 am
big time chipper fan here phil but you know as well as i doi, they wont keep serving up batting practice pitches for his next retirement season
November 19th, 201210:43 am
What’s the word I’m looking for here? Nausea? Queasy? I’m not one that yearns for or protests against a particular player too much until he’s actually acquired , but when I see Melvin Upton’s .246/.298/.454/.752 line and think about 6 years at $15 mil,… well, gag reflex takes over. I really hoped Frank would acquire some right-handed thump through the trade market. Chipper’s presence is hard to replace, sure, but BJ Upton isn’t much of an attempt. Lord have mercy, I’m thinking back to those extended offensive team slumps last summer, and I’m seeing BJ Upton as the guy who’s supposed to fix that. This is a nightmare.
Waiting on the three run homer each night will quickly get old.
Not if they hit enough of ‘em.
who we can be assured will probably stink up the joint next year
But, phil, it’s in your nature to think that of every player; why should you think differently of Upton?
November 19th, 201210:44 am
progressing instead of regressing
November 19th, 201210:45 am
except for commenting lol
Well, it’s not like Gordon had 2 great seasons to start his career, got all hyped up, and then continued to fail to meet his potential, and kept getting a pass for it. And he was a good fielder…
And, unlike Upton, he’s turned it up as he heads into his prime. Age 27-28 and meeting potential. With the glove as well. We’re still waiting on BJ to get there. Puh-lease.
November 19th, 201210:46 am
ncgary,that news was worth six posts. Great to hear.
my lung capacity has doubled
they told me to stay off the oxuygen as much as possible and if all goes well will get the pacemaker implanted in my diaphragm
November 19th, 201210:47 am
November 19th, 201210:48 am
ive already outlived the first expiration date
now thery say i have 18 more months
hereds hoping i feeel fine then too
was actually able to do some yard work this morning without oxygen
November 19th, 201210:50 am
Magically, he managed to extricate himself from the .230 abyss by his age-27 season
Didn’t Gordon’s magic come from repeated trips to the minors? He racked up 485 PA’s in the minors in ‘09-’10…
November 19th, 201210:51 am
now id like to see liberty give the aok to raising the salary levels up towards luxuxy tax territory
November 19th, 201210:52 am
Great news, gary!
This off-season OF shopping is smelling very similar to the off-season of SP shopping he did a while back. Failed on just about all purchases and landed Lowe at 4 years/$60M… which would foreshadow an overpay for Shane.
November 19th, 201210:55 am
Didn’t Gordon’s magic come from repeated trips to the minors?
Yes, he kept coming up, busting, and going back down.
I was trying to point out to our young friend that, while past may be prologue, prologue is not the story. He seems determined that Upton has no chance in any universe inhabited by humans to be any player other than what he has been in the last few years. I was making a case that one of his most beloved man-crushes had a similar career arc before achieving success.
November 19th, 201210:56 am
ncgary – Dude, if ever there was a post deserving of six postings, that was the one.
November 19th, 201210:58 am
Great news! Happy for you
i know i still have the disease but so far its not been as terrible as i expected
November 19th, 201211:00 am
I was making a case that one of his most beloved man-crushes had a similar career arc before achieving success.
What about me? Since I DON’T have a man-crush on Gordon, do I get a pass to trash and thrash as much as I feel necessary?
well its time to go get the better half her birthday present
she just won a harley davidson 883 sportster so i aint topping that…..lol
November 19th, 201211:03 am
I can understand that scoots, but if we’re trying to find a RH thumper, shouldn’t that guy already be one, or at least done it within the last 2-3 years? I’m not seeing Upton as being that guy. At least Gordon is a GG LF and leadoff hitter… I know he can do that well. Getting Upton is a 15mil gamble that we can’t afford to lose. I’d rather get a more stable, proven player.
do I get a pass to trash and thrash as much as I feel necessary?
Yes, you may, LOL. Believe me, Upton provides plenty of reasons for wariness, and it would be foolish to ignore all of them, just for the sake of “upside”.
November 19th, 201211:05 am
Buster Olney @Buster_ESPN
Considering the high prices on the FA center fielders, you wonder if teams will start calling NYY on Granderson, who has one-yr., $15m deal.
November 19th, 201211:06 am
lew did you get my e-mail I sent you the other night?
November 19th, 201211:15 am
Are you saying both players Wren adds will come through free agency then? I seem to recall them saying that they have a lot of pitching prospects to trade to fill holes in position players that were needed. I’m not sure where you heard that Wren doesn’t want to trade pitching. I know it hasn’t happened yet but I still see one FA signing and 1 trade.
Mountain Braves Fan
November 19th, 201211:17 am
The Braves started this offseason looking for a CF to bat leadoff and a right handed power bat to play LF/3B and hit fourth between Heyward and Freeman. BJ Upton’s OBP isn’t good enough to hit first, and his OPS isn’t good enough to hit fourth. While his power and speed potential are intriguing, he has struck out 1020 times in 3568 major league at bats. That is a pretty big sample size of below average. Realistically BJ is more of a 6-7 hitter than a 1 or a 4 hitter. Considering he is just okay in CF, he is just okay as a right handed power bat, he is looking for 5 years and $75 million, and he costs a draft pick, I just don’t see it.
While I am not crazy about Nick Swisher, I would much rather give him 3 years, $35-$40 million with a club option fourth year (and I know he also costs a draft pick) than sign BJ. Swisher is a consistent, professional hitter who gets on base and drives in runs, switch hits, and could legitimately hit fourth between Heyward and Freeman. The Braves lineup, with all the young players and Uggla in it, needs more consistency, not more uncertainty and volatility.
For centerfield, either trade for Denard Span (if the Braves believe he is completely over the concussion problems) or sign Shane Victorino. When all is said and done, Victorino may end up being the best value of all the free agent center fielders. Yes, he had a rough 2012, with an OPS of .704 (which, by the way, is Bourn’s career OPS). Victorino had a horrible first half in a Phillies lineup that was without Utley and Howard. He tried to do too much and paid the price. He had a much better second half (.735 OPS), and his OPS for the previous four seasons, all of which are higher than BJ Upton’s corresponding OPS numbers, are: (2008) .799 OPS; (2009) .803 OPS; (2010) .756 OPS; and (2011) .836 OPS. BJ Upton’s numbers: (2008) .784 OPS; (2009) .686 OPS; (2010) .745 OPS; and (2011) .759 OPS. Victorino’s career OPS (.770) is 66 points higher than Michael Bourn’s (.704) and 12 points higher than BJ Upton’s (.758).
I believe 2012 was an aberration for Victorino. Even in his lost 2012 season, he was fourth in the NL in stolen bases with 39 (one behind Reyes and three behind Bourn, with a better success rate than either-Victorino was caught stealing 6 times, Reyes was caught stealing 11 times, Bourn caught stealing 13 times), and he had a .906 OPS vs. LHP. He is a switch hitter and at 32 is only two years older than Bourn.
November 19th, 201211:20 am
chip – I just finished responding and sending info and a separate email with attachments.
which would foreshadow an overpay for Shane.
November 19th, 201211:24 am
Were we not saying the same things last year at this time/ We have plenty of pitching, trade pitching for a bat, etc. etc. We did not trade pitching and look what happened to it. We were looking for pitching at the trade deadline.
It does not matter in the least who they sign – as I;ve been saying, they will overpay either in total dollars, years, giving up draft choices or prospects in a trade.
Get over it. It’s a trend that is definitely here to stay and will only get much worse when the TV revenues kick in next year.
November 19th, 201211:27 am
Looks Great! Thanks Lew. Pics and the info.
November 19th, 201211:29 am
Good post, MBF.
It does not matter in the least who they sign – as I;ve been saying, they will overpay either in total dollars, years, giving up draft choices or prospects in a trade.
I’d overpay in prospects for a controllable player making some money rather than to really, really overpay in dollars.
I know that may sound stupid given the financial flexibility the team holds moving forward, but I just can’t get on board with most of these free agency options.
I will say that I am at least happy that Wren is going after the big guys(Upton and Hamilton). To me, if you’re giving up a draft pick – make it count. Don’t give it up for a one year deal on a reliever or 40 year old starting pitcher.
November 19th, 201211:30 am
The only way to avoid at least some overpay, is to grow your own. Best way to do that, is to finish at the bottom for several years. Not an acceptable choice.
November 19th, 201211:31 am
I know it hasn’t happened yet but I still see one FA signing and 1 trade.
Yes, I too think that’s the way it almost has to go. But it depends on the players available via each route, you know? What if there isn’t a suitable RH banger available through trade? Have to FA, right? Same way on the other opening. Or vice versa.
What I’m saying is that availability of a suitable player for either slot via either route will have an impact on which route they take for the other slot. And that impacts the available player pool for that slot.
The two needs, and how they are filled and by whom, are interconnected.
November 19th, 201211:33 am
I have nothing to say.
November 19th, 201211:35 am
I believe 2012 was an aberration for Victorino.
Better hope he was hurt and nobody knew it. When I watched him, his bat looked awfully, awfully slow. One doesn’t normally recover from that kind of “aberration”, at his age.
chip – You’re welcome – enjoy.
November 19th, 201211:36 am
UKUGA – And yet you say it so well.
November 19th, 201211:51 am
Good move by the Braves to have Bobby Cox there when BJ Upton came to visit. If anyone can convince someone to play in Atlanta it will be Bobby Cox.
He seems determined that Upton has no chance in any universe inhabited by humans to be any player other than what he has been in the last few years.
I suppose there is the possibility that he could “figure it out” or that the Braves believe Walker and Co. could finally tap into his “untapped potential” but it is also highly probably that BJ is what he has shown himself to be.
Gordon had all of 1600 PA going into his age 27 season. BJ had over 3400 PA’s going into his age 27 season. Gordon, took those 1600 PA’s and multiple return trips to the minors to post an improved age 27 season (it is his prime years after all). BJ took his entire career in the majors and posted an unimpressive season which is strikingly consistent with his previous three seasons leading up to it.
November 19th, 201211:53 am
Not sure BH Upton is coming to Atlanta but if he does it won’t be to play LF. Strictly CF no matter where he goes. Philly is looking at him only for CF as are others. IMO he won’t accept a LF move but I’ve been wrong before as has been noted many times.
Rock on…..and the ACC loses a founding member. Things will get interesting now.
November 19th, 201211:54 am
10Paul is much more eloquent in his explanation…
but it is also highly probably that BJ is what he has shown himself to be.
You bet. Therein lies the risk. Just depends on whether the Braves want to push in the chips on that hand, or wait for another.
At his age? You mean 31? That’s hardly a cause for mandatory fossilization.
Dang it…….BJ Upton.
November 19th, 201211:55 am
Yeah, BJ will be a CF. 1 more reason we don’t him. He’s a poor defender out there.
November 19th, 201211:58 am
Baseball America Kansas City Royals Top 10 Prospects
By J.J. Cooper
November 19, 2012
1. Wil Myers, of
2. Kyle Zimmer, rhp
3. Bubba Starling, of
4. Yordano Ventura, rhp
5. Jake Odorizzi, rhp
6. Jorge Bonifacio, of
7. Adalberto Mondesi, ss
8. Sam Selman, lhp
9. Orlando Calixte, ss
10. Jason Adam, rhp
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