Chipper Jones, Martin Prado, David Ross and Michael Bourn have all left the Braves, and it is always difficult to see players move on to other teams or retirement. In addition to performing well on the field, they were all popular in the clubhouse.
Chipper Jones has been thought by many to be the most popular player in Atlanta sports history, and rather than limping on to retirement in his last season like many greats, he delivered a very productive season that was filled with many clutch moments.
Prado and Ross had very good seasons, and Bourn was very good in the first half before tailing off later in the year.
But as much as we liked and respected those four players, we have to look at the bottom line to gain maximum perspective on what their loss will mean to the upcoming season. The Braves were only seventh in the National League, with 700 runs scored in 2012, the second lowest number of runs the Braves have scored since the strike-shortened 1995 season.
How many agonizing games did we sit through last season when the Braves struggled to score runs? At times an infield hit was enough to bring us out of our seats.
So as much as those four players contributed to the Braves, it seems that the future is bright as we look to 2013 and welcome their very talented replacements. Sports can often be very difficult to predict, but I feel extremely confident in predicting that the Braves will score more than 700 runs in 2013.