February 22, 2013; Lake Buena Vista, FL, USA; Atlanta Braves right fielder Justin Upton (8) prior to the game against the Detroit Tigers during spring training at Disney Wide World of Sports complex, Champion Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Kim Klement-USA TODAY Sports

Upton and The Professor: Braves' Clubhouse Report


If you’ve got some free time today at 2:30 PM EST, you might want to tune into 680 The Fan (93.7 FM), Atlanta’s Sports Station, for this week’s Atlanta Braves’ Clubhouse report.  According to the official Braves’ Twitter account, we’ll have a chance to hear some thoughts from legendary Braves’ broadcaster, Pete “The Professor” van Wieren, and Braves’ right fielder, Justin Upton!


A 2004 inductee into the Atlanta Braves Hall of Fame, The Professor needs no introduction to Braves’ fans, and may have some thoughts on today’s reveal of the 2014 Hall Of Fame class.  Pete called Atlanta Braves’ games on either radio or television  for 32 years from 1976 to 2008.  Over that span, he teamed with other greats such as Ernie Johnson, Don Sutton, and Skip Caray, and became affectionately known as The Professor because of how well he researched and prepared for his broadcasts.

Justin Upton, potentially a  future member of such a class himself, may offer thoughts as well.  They both may also share some of their thoughts on the upcoming 2014 season, and what they expect from the way the Braves are shaping up.

As all Braves’ fans know, Justin Upton came from the Arizona Diamondbacks to the Atlanta Braves on January 20, 2013, along with Chris Johnson, in exchange for Martin Prado, Randall Delgado, pitching prospect Zeke Spruill, infield prospect Nick Ahmed, and minor league 1B Brandon Drury.  Atlanta fans were thrilled to see the Braves get Upton, and of course we now know that Chris Johnson’s inclusion in that trade turned out to be a huge payoff, and a pleasant surprise!

Tune in today at 2:30 PM EST on 680 The Fan, and give a listen!  If you cannot, then you can always give a listen to the report later from their archives page.  Go Braves!

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  • cothjrr24

    Dissecting the trade…
    After a pretty awful 19-year old season at single-A in Rome, Drury, a throw-in as part of the Upton deal, really raked repeating the level for the Diamondbacks. He had 15 HRs with a slash-line of .302/.362/.500. He also doubled his walk rate while maintaining the K-rate (about 1 of every 6 PA). He might end up being the real sleeper in this trade as it looks like Ahmed’s fizzling out and Spruill’s real ceiling is probably 5th starter/bullpen. Spruill’s K/9 dropped below 5 at AA-AAA combined, which is not a good sign for a starting pitcher at any level.

    Randall Delgado was bloody awful at AAA last year but found some success in the Majors. His success will be determined by his ability to stay out of his own head. I haven’t seen a pitcher in a while show insecurities on the mound quite like Delgado does, as is shown by his HR/9 numbers (almost 2 per 9 innings!). If he can get some psychiatric aid to help maintain his nerves, he could be a #3 starter. However, right now, he looks, at best, a #5. He’s listed as the 5th starter on their depth chart and they’re preparing a serious run at Tanaka.

    Martin Prado will be better than Chris Johnson over the next 3 years and at 4/40 million, was quite a steal for the D’backs. He’ll likely continue to be worth an average of 3 WAR over the next 3 seasons which makes his FA value at about 3/45-50 million. The real question is if the Braves were to have not made the trade, what would have been their strategy? Would they have went with Gattis in LF and Prado at 3rd? Or would they have scoured the FA market for a LF or 3b? There were very few 3b/LF on the market that looked desirable and the backlash of not making the trade from the fanbase might have been enough to do it alone.

    Hindsight being what it is, I’d have still made the trade. Justin Upton has the potential to be a serious MVP-candidate and anytime you can get that caliber of a player with some years of control by trading from strength, it has to be done. Sure, trading the potential of Delgado, Spruill, and Drury, and the consistency of the ever-versatile, ever-loved Prado is hard to swallow, the potential risk was worth the potential reward.