Forgot Log-in or  Password? |  Help  Not a member, Register Now!
      
Fantasy Football Today
Gameday Inactives
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Get Your Draft Board
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Red Zone Stats
Teams
Schedules
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Playoff Challenge
Commissioner
Prize Leagues
Free
Office Pool Manager
Game Pick'em
Player Challenge
Fantasy Baseball Today
2014 Draft Prep Guide
Downloadable Draft Kit
Mock Drafts
Player News
Stats
Players
Depth Charts
Roster Trends
Columns
Injury Report
Rankings
Projections
Teams
Schedules
Probable Pitchers
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injuries
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Message Boards
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
Downloadable Draft Kit
Player News
Stats
Players
Columns
Injury Report
Projections
Rankings
Teams
Schedules
Mock Drafts
Scores
Standings
Fantasy Games
Commissioner
Free
Prize Leagues
No Fantasy Teams Found
 
 
 

2011 Fantasy outlooks: Atlanta Braves

  •  

Listen to our latest Fantasy Baseball Podcast!

After sending longtime skipper Bobby Cox out with one last playoff appearance, their first since 2005, the Braves got right to work on 2011, turning to former Marlins manager Fredi Gonzalez to usher in a new era.

But really, that era already began during their years without a playoff appearance. It began with players like Brian McCann and Jair Jurrjens and continued with Tommy Hanson and Jason Heyward over the last two years. And it's about to get a whole lot better.

Follow us on ...
Get the latest news and analysis from the most informed Fantasy staff in the industry by following us on Twitter and Facebook.
@cbsfantasynews
facebook.com/cbssportsfantasy

Returning to their roots of standout starting pitching, the Braves have stockpiled a system with more arms than they can fit into a starting rotation. We got a first glimpse of it last year with Mike Minor and Brandon Beachy, who will compete for a rotation spot this spring, but the best is yet to come with the elite trio of Julio Teheran, Randall Delgado and Arodys Vizcaino, all of whom have the upside to push Hanson for opening day honors over the next decade or so.

Of course, they'll have to continue developing for now. The Braves still have veterans Tim Hudson and Derek Lowe anchoring the staff, not that they're any sort of letdown. Throw in a young bullpen that has strikeout artist Craig Kimbrel ready to step in for retired closer Billy Wagner (and an equally impressive Jonny Venters backing him up), and the Braves shouldn't have any needs on the mound this season.

But what about their lineup? Freddie Freeman joins Jason Heyward in the team's transition to the future, but the veteran presence remains. Chipper Jones may never be the same coming off knee surgery, but the Braves insured themselves with the addition of Dan Uggla, who gives All-Star second baseman Martin Prado the flexibility to play left field or third base and the lineup as a whole its first 30-homer threat since Mark Teixeira left in 2008.

Breakout ... Jason Heyward, OF

Heyward is almost too obvious here. He was practically a must-start in Fantasy last year even though he had a month when he hit only .181 and even though he finished with just 18 homers. The rookie barely scratched the surface of his potential, yet he still found a way to contribute, showing adaptability well beyond his 21 years of age. He ranked 10th among full-time players with a .393 on-base percentage, which means his progression is mostly a matter of him getting comfortable and developing physically. In other words, he could take off as a .300-hitting, 30-homer machine any day now. Even an offseason of rest for his troublesome thumb -- the reason for that one poor month -- could make a world of difference. Heyward comes with an abundance of hype for the second straight season, but he's worth drafting ahead of his numbers as a top-12 Fantasy outfielder given the likelihood he'll finish in the top five.

Bust ... Alex Gonzalez, SS

Granted, nobody thinks of Gonzalez as a savior at the shortstop position, but his performance last year might lead some people to believe he's more useful than he actually is. Truth is he was a one-trick pony, and that one trick -- his 23 homers -- equaled a career high. The 34-year-old isn't at an age when career highs come easily, and this one wouldn't have happened without an especially hot start with the heavy-hitting Blue Jays. After he went to the Braves, he hit a modest six homers in 267 at-bats. Gonzalez's free-swinging ways have always made him one of the worst on-base players in the game, leaving him with nothing to fall back on if he regresses to his usual 12-15 home runs. Shortstop is as weak as ever, meaning Gonzalez no doubt has his place in Fantasy, but he has the potential to go undrafted in mixed leagues.

Sleeper ... Nate McLouth, OF

Fantasy owners were quick to jump off the bandwagon with McLouth, whose fall from grace last year was just as abrupt as his rise to glory in 2008. Some say his demise made all the sense in the world, that he was an overachiever due for a letdown. But to fall that far that fast? He wasn't just fourth-outfielder bad; he was out-of-the-major-leagues bad, spending almost all of August in the minors. But he returned to hit .273 with three homers and three steals in September, looking like the power-speed threat of old. The Braves certainly liked what they saw, giving him the ultimate vote of confidence by entering spring training without a real fallback option in center field. Power and speed are two attributes that tend to stick around for players in their late 20s, making McLouth a bounce-back candidate no matter what the naysayers say. And the best part is he'll cost next to nothing on Draft Day.

Atlanta Braves Fantasy Outlook
Projected Lineup Pos. Projected Rotation
1 Martin Prado LF 1 Tim Hudson RH
2 Nate McLouth CF 2 Tommy Hanson RH
3 Chipper Jones 3B 3 Derek Lowe RH
4 Brian McCann C 4 Jair Jurrjens RH
5 Dan Uggla 2B 5 Mike Minor LH
6 Jason Heyward RF Alt Brandon Beachy RH
7 Alex Gonzalez SS
Bullpen Breakdown
8 Freddie Freeman 1B CL Craig Kimbrel RH
Top bench options SU Jonny Venters LH
R Eric Hinske 1B/OF RP Peter Moylan RH
R Joe Mather OF RP Eric O'Flaherty LH
R Jordan Schafer OF RP George Sherrill LH
Rookies/Prospects Age Pos. 2010 high Destination
1 Craig Kimbrel 22 RP Majors Majors
Won't make the biggest impact long-term, but expected role should make him instant success in Fantasy.
2 Freddie Freeman 21 1B Majors Majors
Projected starter perhaps not as ready as Heyward was last year, but long-term potential is similar.
3 Mike Minor 23 SP Majors Majors
Some doubts when taken seventh overall in 2009, but strikeout rate confirmed top-of-rotation stuff.
4 Julio Teheran 20 SP Double-A Double-A
Pedro Martinez type has most upside in system. Could force way into crowded rotation by midseason.
5 Brandon Beachy 24 SP Majors Majors
Crazy numbers put him on map last season. Not as much upside as Minor but could beat him for job.
Best of the rest: Randall Delgado, SP; Arodys Vizcaino, SP; Matt Lipka, SS; Brett Oberholtzer, SP; J.J. Hoover, SP; Carlos Perez, SP; Edward Salcedo, SS; Christian Bethancourt, C; Erik Cordier, SP; Juan Abreu, RP; Brandon Hicks, SS; Mycal Jones, SS; Adam Milligan, OF; and Tyler Patornicky, SS.

Stay in touch with the most passionate Fantasy staff in the business by following us via Twitter . You can e-mail us your Fantasy Baseball questions to DMFantasyBaseball@cbs.com . Be sure to put Team outlooks in the subject field. Please include your full name, hometown and state.

  •  
 
 
CBSSports Facebook Google Plus
COMMENTS
Conversation powered by Livefyre
 
 
Player News
Wil Myers: I'll be taking BP on Saturday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(4:03 pm ET) Rays recovering right fielder Wil Myers has tweeted that he will be taking batting practice Saturday.

Myers has been sidelined since May 30 with a wrist injury. He is not expected to rejoin his team until least mid-August.


Report: Trade talks regarding Marlon Byrd are not progressing
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(4:00 pm ET) Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd is not an option for the Royals and trade talks have stalled with the Mariners, sources told FOX Sports. Byrd will only waive his no-trade clause if his 2016 option is exercised.

Aaron Hill back from two-game absence
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:55 pm ET) Diamondbacks second baseman Aaron Hill returned to the starting lineup Tuesday at Cincinnati after missing two straight starts due to a hand injury. Hill is batting .400 (16 for 40) with two home runs, five doubles and six RBI in his last 11 games.

Manny Parra dealing with back injury
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:52 pm ET) Reds reliever Manny Parra is dealing with a back injury and might not be available to pitch Tuesday vs. Arizona, manager Bryan Price told reporters. Parra hasn't allowed a run in his last 18 appearances (8 2/3 innings) and has eight holds in that span.

Eric Hosmer hopes to pick up where he left off Tuesday
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:52 pm ET) A hand injury that has prevented Royals first baseman Eric Hosmer from earning an at-bat for nearly a week will not keep him out of the batter's box Tuesday against Minnesota. He's back in the lineup.

Hosmer, who sustained the injury on a hit-by-pitch on July 20, was on a roll before going down. He owned a 16-game hitting streak with six doubles and two home runs.


Jayson Werth sits out Tuesday due to ankle injury
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:48 pm ET) Nationals outfielder Jayson Werth was held out of the starting lineup Tuesday against the Marlins due to an ankle injury suffered Monday. Werth had anticipated he would be in the lineup Tuesday.

Werth is batting .360 with a .478 on-base percentage, .747 slugging percentage and 1.225 OPS in 21 July games. He also has six home runs, 11 doubles, 17 runs, 23 RBI and 14 walks this month.


Struggling Chris Davis out of Tuesday lineup
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:40 pm ET) A miserable slump has Orioles first baseman Chris Davis sitting Tuesday against the Angels. Steve Pearce is set to play first base.

Davis has just four hits in his last 28 at-bats and owns a .199/.309/.391 stat line on the season. He has just two multi-hit games since June 11 and 123 strikeouts in 317 at-bats this year.


Marlon Byrd held out of lineup for day off, not due to trade
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:40 pm ET) Phillies outfielder Marlon Byrd, who is being mentioned in trade rumors, received a scheduled day off Tuesday at N.Y. Mets. He was not held out of the lineup because of an impending trade, according to ESPN.

Byrd, who had four singles Monday, is batting .287 with three doubles, five home runs, 12 RBI and 13 runs in 24 July games.


Lonnie Chisenhall back into lineup against Mariners
by Marty Gitlin | CBSSports.com
(3:33 pm ET) Indians slumping third baseman Lonnie Chisenhall has returned to the lineup for the Tuesday game against visiting Seattle. He had been out since Friday with an illness.

Chisenhall has struggled since his May and June tear. His average has fallen from .393 to a season-low .313 since June 14. He has three hits in his last 26 at-bats.


Report: Royals might go after Bartolo Colon or A.J. Burnett
by Michael Hurcomb | CBSSports.com
(3:27 pm ET) The Royals are considering making a run to acquire Mets starting pitcher Bartolo Colon or Phillies starting pitcher A.J. Burnett, major-league sources told the New York Daily News.

However, a major caveat is that the Roayls might not be able to add to the payroll to acquire either pitcher, but that will be determined in the coming days. The Royals' evaluators, however, are said to like both veteran pitchers.


 
 
 
Rankings