David Goldman/Associated Press
The Braves unloaded a ton of money on long-term extensions on young, promising players.
In doing so, they were taking a gamble that these players (Freddie Freeman, Craig Kimbrel, Andrelton Simmons, Julio Teheran) would continue developing.
All these guys have looked to take the next step with the exception of Kimbrel. And Kimbrel has not looked back, but had no real step to take as he had established himself as the most dominant closer in baseball.
Freeman had just four hits in his past 32 at-bats before Monday night's game but still has a .300 average, .892 OPS and 18 RBI.
Simmons has been solid at the plate with a .279 average and striking out just six times in 104 at-bats. He's also still making highlight-reel plays on defense.
Teheran has been the Braves' best starter and ranks in the top five in the MLB in ERA (1.80) and WHIP (0.88).
After a couple of disappointing outings, Kimbrel has looked like himself in his past four appearances in which he's allowed just three baserunners while striking out eight.
This core of young players is showing why the Braves committed so much money to them in the offseason.