The Atlanta Braves have been a highly successful organization the past 20+ years. Despite that success, I think it is legitimate to question their organizational approach towards offense. Again.
Pitching and defense have always been the Braves number one priority. They have done a great job with that philosophy, developing top pitchers in their minor league organization and stressing defensive fundamentals.
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Questioning the Braves offensive approach is not something new…
What I don’t understand is why the Braves continue to build the offense around the home run when Turner Field is not home run friendly. Fan Graphs ranked Turner Field only the 19th best home run park in major league baseball in 2013. I can understand why the Braves featured the home run when they played in Atlanta Fulton County Stadium, affectionately known back in the day as “The Launching Pad.” But why now when Turner Field is not a home run friendly park?
Even when the Braves played at Fulton County Stadium during their run of Division Championships and featured the home run, they often were inept offensively in the playoffs. Teams with great pitching and defense need offenses that are consistent, not explosive. Home run hitting teams score runs in bunches and go through droughts. Teams built around on base percentage and speed aren’t as explosive, but are more consistent.
I will be interested to see the dimensions of the new stadium. If the Braves are married to the home run, then why play in a park that is not homer friendly? Might as well bring in the fences and watch the baseballs fly out of there.
I’m also wondering this season if one or more of the Braves power bats may be the lure to bring in another starter or a guy who can get on base and steal. With Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, Freddie Freeman, Andrelton Simmons, Dan Uggla and Chris Johnson, the Braves have more than enough power. But they are lacking in some other important areas.
Is it time to get off the power trip?