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Braves organizational report: Outfield
Atlanta's bats in the outfield leaving much to be desired
Atlanta Braves' Martin Prado congratulates outfielder Jason Heyward at home plate following a home run this season. - photo by Associated Press


Organizational report

Over seven weeks this summer, The Times will examine the Braves’ depth at each position from the big-league club in Atlanta through the minors.


June 17: Starting pitching A

June 24: Relief pitching A-

July 1: Catcher A

July 8: First base B+

July 15: Middle infield C+

July 22: Third base B-

Today: Outfield D+


For long stretches of 2011, the Braves have fielded an outfield in which no starter is hitting better than .230.


The numbers don't get any better upon deeper inspection. With Opening Day left fielder Martin Prado spending much of the season either on the disabled list or filling in for Chipper Jones at third base, and Jason Heyward slumping through his sophomore season, the outfield has been a blackhole when it comes to offensive production.

No wonder then thatswelling trade speculation has centered on these spots as Sunday's deadline nears.

Much of the trade talk focused on Carlos Beltran before the Giants made a deal for him on Wednesday.

Others who the Braves are reported to have pursued include the Astros' Hunter Pence, the White Sox Carlos Quentin and the Rays' B.J. Upton.

The Roster


Jason Heyward

Age: 21

Position: RF

Contract terms: 1 year/$496K; arbitration eligible after 2012 season 

2011 stats: .222, 11 HRs, 29 RBIs, .311 OBP 

Career: .258, 29 HRs, 101 RBIs, .366 OBP

Notes: Though he’s slumping through his sophomore season, Heyward is the piece the Braves would like to build around.


Martin Prado

Age: 27

Position: LF, 3B, 2B

Contract terms: 1 year/$3.1M; arbitration eligible, free agent after 2013 

2011 stats: .270, 10 HRs, 37 RBIs, .314 OBP 

Career: .300, 39 HRs, 196 RBIs, .348 OBP

Notes: One of the most versatile Braves, Prado may get pulled out of the outfield to take over at 3B when Chipper Jones retires.


Nate McLouth

Age: 29

Position: CF/LF

Contract terms: 3 years/$15.75 through 2011; team option at $10.65M for 2012

2011 stats: .231, 4 HRs, 16 RBIs, .345 OBP 

Career: .249, 81 HR, 270 RBIs, .338 OBP

Notes: McLouth has failed to live up to the potential he flashed in Pittsburgh and it’s unlikely the Braves will pick up his option.


Jordan Schafer

Age: 24

Position: CF

Contract terms: 1 year/$419K; arbitration eligible after 2012 season 

2011 stats: .240, 1 HR,7 RBIs, .307 OBP 

Career: .223, 3 HRs, 15 RBIs, .310 OBP

Notes: Provides speed and a good glove, but not much else at this early stage of his Major League career.

The Wishlist


Hunter Pence

Age: 28

Position: RF

Contract terms: 1 year/$6.9M; eligible for arbitration; free agent after 2013 season

2011 stats: .307, 11 HRs, 62 RBIs, .354 OBP 

Career: .290, 103 HRs, 377 RBIs, .338 OBP

Notes: Offers a right-handed bat that can hit for power and average. Played 95 games in CF as a rookie, but has played strictly RF since. 


Carlos Quentin

Age: 28

Position: RF

Contract terms: 1 year/$5.05M; eligible for arbitration; eligible for free agency after 2013 season

2011 stats: .262, 20 HRs, 62 RBIs, .353 OBP 

Career: .253, 117 HRs, 368 RBIs, .348 OBP

Notes: Another right-handed bat under team control through 2012, Quentin’s offensive game is more about pure power.

Minor League Options


The Braves’ farm system isn’t exactly stocked with sure-fire stars in the outfield, making the need to bolster the position via trade all the more imperative.

There are options at Gwinnett who might help in the short term, but other than Adam Milligan, few of the team’s young draft picks have produced much offense in the last two years. Milligan’s issue has been staying healthy.


Adam Milligan

Age: 23

Position: RF, LF

Notes: A variety of injuries have limited Milligan since the Braves drafted him in the sixth round in 2008. When healthy he’s been effective, hitting .301 with 29 home runs in 152 career minor league games. He’s hitting .291 with 12 home runs in high-A ball this year.



Current roster:C

Organizational depth: D

This grade could get a significant bump if the Braves make a deal this weekend, but the current group has struggled mightily.









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