Atlanta Braves: 5 Slumping Players Who Are Sure to Heat Up in the Second Half
They have everything it should take to catch the Phillies.
The Braves' only problem is that their potentially great players have been majorly under-performing so far this season.
At least five of these slumping players are sure to heat up in the next few months, and hopefully boost the Braves past the Phillies.
1. Dan Uggla
Dan Uggla is hitting .193, a bit of a disappointment after the high expectations that had been set for him.
Because he can not possibly play any worse than he has, he can only improve.
He has shown major hints of improvements over the past few games.
His batting average this month has been brought up to .279, with six home runs and 12 RBI, which is amazing compared to statistics from the past few months.
Also, just in the past week, Uggla has hit three home runs and five RBI, along with a .368 batting average.
It appears as though Uggla's slump has already ended, and he should continue to improve.
2. Jason Heyward
After his amazing 2010 season, Jason Heyward's performance has also been a disappointment.
His current .229 batting average is very unimpressive compared to his .277 batting average last season.
In 2010, Heyward was at his best in the second half of the season, especially in July, when he hit .356.
Other hopeful signs of improvement have appeared for Heyward.
In the past week, he is hitting .267, a great improvement, along with a home run and four RBI.
These improvements should continue to occur, and hopefully, it will not be long before Heyward is playing like his old self.
3. Derek Lowe
Derek Lowe's career ERA is 3.88. This season, his ERA is 4.37.
This is not too far off, however, he is still not performing nearly as well as expected.
Lowe should soon begin to improve, and become at least reliable, if not great.
He is known to pitch at his best in the three final months of the season, and become progressively better.
Last season, in September, after having a shaky start similar to this one, he went 5-0 with a 1.17 ERA.
Another statistic that should be proof for his improvement is his FIP.
It is currently 3.45—much in contrast to his high ERA.
4. Martin Prado
Prado has not at all been slumping, however, he has hardly played in the past month due to injuries.
Prado will definitely be a main producer of the Braves offense in the next few months, as he was last season.
He is currently hitting .281, which is great, especially compared with some of the other averages on the team.
Throughout his career, Prado has hit an average of .358 in the month of August.
Prado will likely help lead the Braves to the playoffs, and hopefully match his career batting average of .302 by the end of the season.
5. Jordan Schafer
In my opinion, it would be difficult for Jordan Schafer to under-perform what is currently expected of him.
While his defense is nice, the prospect of him becoming the Braves permanent leadoff hitter makes me slightly pessimistic.
And though his .236 batting average is better than a few others on the team, this along with his .301 OBP is much less than what I would expect from a leadoff hitter.
However, on the bright side, his performance seems to be improving.
This month, he is hitting .262, which is fantastic compared to the .212 he hit last month. Also, in the past week, he has hit .278.
I have hope for his improvement, though I am still much in favor of Prado hitting in the leadoff spot.