1 Prediction for Each Player on Atlanta Braves' 25-Man Roster in 2013
With the first of 162 games under the collective belt of the Atlanta Braves, the 2013 season is now fully real and alive. For sportswriters, that means the time for preseason predictions is drawing to a close.
There's time for one last hurrah, though.
Before it officially gets too late for predictions, here's one for each player on the Atlanta Braves' 25-man roster.
Luis Avilan regresses from last season but throws more than 50 innings and pitches well enough to stay with the Braves all season long.
Cory Gearrin stays with the big league club all season and strikes out more than a batter per inning.
Tim Hudson digs deep at the age of 37 and pulls out a 200-inning season to pair with a sub-3.50 ERA.
Craig Kimbrel devastates National League hitters all season, notches 50 saves and posts a 1.50 ERA.
Paul Maholm surprises everyone and throws 200 innings, winning 15 games in the process.
Cristhian Martinez makes Fredi Gonzalez forget he put him in a position battle and throws 70 innings of invaluable relief with a 3.50 ERA.
Kris Medlen earns title of "staff ace," falling short of 200 innings but posting a sub-3.00 ERA.
Mike Minor takes another step forward and provides Gonzalez with a second young gun to entrust the future of the rotation to.
Eric O'Flaherty continues his dominance and appears in 65 games with a sub-2.00 ERA.
Julio Teheran shows flashes of brilliance but deals with inconsistency. 150 innings pitched and a 4.40 ERA prove that he belongs in the big leagues, and he effectively wins a rotation spot for 2014.
Anthony Varvaro strikes out more than a batter an inning but struggles enough with his command to bounce back and forth between Triple-A and the Braves. 30 innings pitched.
Jordan Walden has the second-highest K/9 rate on the staff. Collects a handful of saves as next in line for the closer job.
Evan Gattis stays with the Braves all year long and hits double-digit homers.
Gerald Laird tallies up a WAR greater than 1.0 and guides the young Atlanta pitchers to a very successful year.
Juan Francisco has a mini-breakout, posting an OPS higher than .800 in more than 300 at-bats.
Freddie Freeman has a big breakout, hitting 25 home runs with an OPS of .850.
Chris Johnson gets more playing time than Francisco but is less efficient. He provides a better OBP, though.
Ramiro Pena earns his keep with the glove but loses his job to Paul Janish midseason.
Andrelton Simmons lets Atlanta fans come to grips with the loss of Michael Bourn at the top of the order. Gets on base at a .350 clip and steals more than 20 bags.
Dan Uggla's power returns, and he hits more than 25 homers. His average however, does not, as he fails to hit .240.
Jason Heyward is a monster. 33 home runs and a .950 OPS. Finishes in the top three of MVP voting.
Reed Johnson gets a couple of walk-off hits this season as a pinch hitter, becoming the new Brooks Conrad.
Jordan Schafer keeps the fifth outfielder job all season and garners double-digit steals as a pinch runner.
B.J. Upton benefits greatly from the change of scenery, boosting his OBP back up to .330 and adding 25 homers and 30 steals to his name.
Justin Upton hits 36 home runs, and they're all tape-measure shots.
Brian McCann fails to hit 20 homers but gets on base at a .350 rate and provides a huge leadership boost to the pitching staff.
Jonny Venters is treated as fragile the first half of the season but ends the year with 55 innings under his belt. Jordan Walden supplants him as the workhorse setup man, though.
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