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Atlanta Braves: 5 Possible Batting Orders for the Braves

Matt PowersCorrespondent IIOctober 12, 2016

Atlanta Braves: 5 Possible Batting Orders for the Braves

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    Spring training is approaching and the Braves have yet to replace Chipper Jones or the leadoff spot in the lineup, but they do have plenty of talent to work with.

    This article takes a look at five potential lineups for the Braves to put together this season. 

Prado Hits Leadoff

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    One potential lineup for the Braves would be moving Martin Prado to the leadoff spot. While Prado isn't a true leadoff hitter, he is good at getting on base and working counts, which makes him an obvious choice to hit at the top of the order.

    In this projected lineup, I have Prado leading off and playing third base with his old spot in the outfield going to new acquisition BJ Upton. Jason Heyward moves into Chipper's spot batting third while Freddie Freeman gets to take the cleanup spot.

    This means that Brian McCann moves down to fifth in the order as he tries to rebound from a down season in 2012. He'll be followed by Dan Uggla, the Reed Johnson/Evan Gattis platoon and Andrelton Simmons would hit eighth, as Fredi Gonzalez likes putting younger players lower in the lineup whenever possible.

     

    1.Martin Prado, 3B

    2.BJ Upton, CF

    3.Jason Heyward, RF

    4.Freddie Freeman, 1B

    5.Brian McCann, C

    6.Dan Uggla, 2B

    7.Reed Johnson/Evan Gattis, LF

    8.Andrelton Simmons, SS

Prado Hits Leadoff but Stays in the Outfield

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    This lineup is exactly the same as the last one with the exception of Martin Prado staying in left field defensively and Juan Francisco taking over full time at third base. This would give a promising younger player with big power a chance to get an extended run of regular at-bats.

     

    1.Martin Prado, LF

    2.BJ Upton, CF

    3.Jason Heyward, RF

    4.Freddie Freeman, 1B

    5.Brian McCann, C

    6.Dan Uggla, 2B

    7.Juan Francisco, 3B

    8.Andrelton Simmons, SS

Upton at Leadoff

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    In this potential lineup, the Braves let BJ Upton hit leadoff to take advantage of his speed and allow Martin Prado to remain in the No. 2 spot in the batting order. This may not be the most ideal option, but since Prado isn't a true leadoff guy, this lineup could be in play a few times during the season.

    This order stays the same as the other projected lineups with the exception of letting Prado share his time between left field and third base. A scenario like this would let powerful younger hitters Evan Gattis and Juan Francisco share a spot in the everyday lineup.

     

    1.BJ Upton, CF

    2.Martin Prado, LF/3B

    3.Jason Heyward, RF

    4.Freddie Freeman, 1B

    5.Brian McCann, C

    6.Dan Uggla, 2B

    7.Evan Gattis, LF/Juan Francisco, 3B

    8.Andrelton Simmons, SS

2 Uptons

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    This projected lineup has BJ Upton's younger brother Justin playing left field. After Arizona tried to trade Justin Upton to Seattle and he refused, it may force the Diamondbacks to make a deal or risk having an unhappy star as the face of the franchise. 

    The Braves have been in contact with Arizona since the summer, but they haven't seemed to be a favorite until recently. ESPN's Buster Olney says the Braves are "lying in the weeds" with Upton, which seems to be a fit as Arizona now has a long-term answer at shortstop after trading Trevor Bauer for Didi Gregorius.

    But the Snakes are no longer as deep when it comes to pitching.

    The Braves could deal either Julio Teheran or Randall Delgado as the headliner of a package to get Upton and form one of the best outfields in the game with the Upton brothers and Jason Heyward. 

    1.Martin Prado, 3B

    2.BJ Upton, CF

    3.Jason Heyward, RF

    4.Justin Upton, LF

    5.Freddie Freeman, 1B

    6.Brian McCann, C

    7.Dan Uggla, 2B

    8.Andrelton Simmons, SS

Bourn Is Back

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    It is halfway through January and Michael Bourn is still looking for a new home. Not only is Bourn unsigned, but there doesn't seem to be a ton of interest in signing him to a big deal now that the Braves have signed BJ Upton, the Phillies and Nationals have traded for center fielders and the Yankees aren't looking to be spenders.

    ESPN's Jerry Crasnick has reported that the Braves are still open to bringing back Bourn on a one-year deal. This would give Atlanta a true leadoff hitter and really load up their offense.

     

    1.Michael Bourn, LF

    2.Martin Prado, 3B

    3.Jason Heyward, RF

    4.Freddie Freeman, 1B

    5.Brian McCann, C

    6.BJ Upton, CF

    7.Dan Uggla, 2B

    8.Andrelton Simmons, SS

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