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if-i-were-gm-2 | December | 2005 Articles

2005 Archives

If I were GM…

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The Braves don't need to trade for a Julio Lugo or a Juan Pierre if what they're looking for is just a leadoff hitter. Chances are they'd be overpaying by trading prospects. Marcus Giles and Kelly Johnson are two hitters that are capable of hitting either 1st or 2nd in the batting order. Especially Giles, with his .365 OBP, doubles power, baserunning instincts, speed, and basestealing ability (highest percentage on the team last year) Just about anyone can bat second, including shortstop Wilson Betemit. My ideal lineup: 2B Giles SS Betemit 3B C. Jones CF A. Jones LF Marte 1B LaRoche RF Francoeur C McCann For whatever seemingly ridiculous reason, the Braves refuse to move Andy Marte from third base even though it is clear that he won't start at 3rd for Atlanta. I'm more concerned about the Braves' home run hitting next season; not the leadoff spot. The Braves desperately need Marte's bat in the lineup as another power hitter to protect Andruw... LaRoche (Rico Brogna Jr.) sucks, and Francoeur is set up for an unpleasant reality check in his sophomore season. I don't think he's disciplined enough to hit .300 for an entire season, and his walk rate needs to dramatically improve. I think he'll be very very good in the future, but he's still a raw talent. Marte, by far, is the most polished Braves hitting prospect and would likely give the Braves 25-30 homers if he was given 500 or so ABs. The Braves don't have a set starting leftfielder. They have faith in LaRoche to be more consistently good, so apparently won't trade him. Left field would be the ideal place for Marte. I think they need to do this, and refusing to move him is a big mistake in my opinion. They apparently see him as trade bait for somebody who can play shortstop and a pitcher who will close. The only big time void the Braves need to fill in my opinion is a closer, or at least a veteran reliever with an excellent track record. We already have capable players to lead off, play shortstop, and protect Chipper and Andruw. It shouldn't take a premier prospect to get a valuable reliever. JS is a great GM, so I trust that whatever he does will help the Braves in the long run.

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