The Future is Bright in Atlanta
The 2018 Atlanta Braves were a team destined to place third or fourth in the national league east behind the New York Mets, Philadelphia Phillies and Washington Nationals. But this prediction was rightfully so. If you know anything about the Braves then you know they are almost complete in a rebuilding phase within the entire organization. This even includes the coaching staff. About 4 years ago, ATL traded away superstars such as Dan Uggla, Jason Heyward, Justin Upton, Andrelton Simmons, Evan Gattis, Craig Kimbrell and many others for players we have never heard of. Lets not even talk about the players who walked away due to free agency. It was discouraging and frustrating. Lots of questions of "WHY?" and "We only got THAT for him?!" circulated around the baseball world. What we did not forsee is exactly what the future would hold. Thankfully our general manager saw it very clearly. We're also thankful our first baseman Freedie Freeman stuck around for the growing pains.
The 2015 and 2016 seasons were ruff. It did not produce winning seasons like Atlanta was used to experiencing. But slowly these "kids" we traded for started getting acclimated in the minor leagues. Rumors of future starting pitchers escalated it ways to social media and ESPN. Names like Tuki Touissant and Max Fried started getting tossed around. More names like Ozzie Albies and Ronald Acuna Jr. plus Johan Camargo started giving Braves fans hope. Eventually we knew they would get called up to the big leagues. We just thought it was 2 or 3 more years away.
That's what made the 2018 season so special. These kids finally got their chance at the dream - to play professional baseball in Atlanta. And did these kids deliver? One simple answer.... YES! Beyond anything our brains could comprehend. The Braves were the youngest team in major league baseball but was leading in stolen bases, runs batted in and batting average. Their defense wasn't too shabby, too. At some point, people thought the dazzle would fade. Thankfully, it only got stronger.
The Braves went on to clinch the national league east championship and making their way to the playoffs for the first time since 2013. And they did it with kids. With no superstars. This defied most logic and had a lot of baseball commentators and specialist eat a lot of crow. So, the future looks bright in ATL and has brought hope back to Braves country.
Picture by @thetimwadsworth