Oct 3, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves shortstop Andrelton Simmons (19) high fives center fielder Jason Heyward (22) during introductions prior to game one of the National League divisional series playoff baseball game against the Los Angeles Dodgers at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Where Do Atlanta Braves Players Fill Into ESPN's Top 300

Sep 29, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves first baseman Freddie Freeman (5) puts his arm around catcher Brian McCann (16) in the dugout during the game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Turner Field. The Braves won 12-5. Mandatory Credit: Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Folks, the baseball season is quickly approaching and you must be ready for the call when the commissioner of your fantasy baseball league comes calling.

ESPN.com recently released their Top 300 Fantasy Baseball players where they list statistical projection of how they believe each player will perform in 2014.

Most sites relevant to baseball and projections puts out their believes to the world so this isn’t any breaking news story or ESPN isn’t the holy grail of fantasy baseball projections but on a slow Sunday of no football, NASCAR or baseball we’ll dive into their list.

As expected, Mike Trout and Miguel Cabrera take the top two spots respectively.  And Clayton Kershaw comes in as the highest-ranked pitcher, coming in at 10th.

13 Atlanta Braves players made the list, including three in the top 50 and six in the top 100.  Below is where each player ranked along with their projections

33. Freddie Freeman: .302, 24 HR, 105 RBI, 97 R, 3 SB

41. Justin Upton: .271, 27 HR, 91 RBI, 78 R, 15 SB

49. Craig Kimbrel: 5-1, 47 SV, 1.66 ERA, 0.88 WHIP, 111 K

71. Mike Minor: 14-11, 3.33 ERA, 1.18 WHIP, 187 K

82. Jason Heyward: .269, 22 HR, 71 RBI, 93 R, 13 SB

97. Kris Medlen: 14-9, 3.30 ERA, 1.20 WHIP, 166 K

128. Julio Teheran: 14-9, 3.72 ERA, 1.21 WHIP, 164 K

161. Andrelton Simmons: .273, 17 HR, 65 RBI, 82 R, 9 SB

178. B.J. Upton: .231, 18 HR, 57 RBI, 65 R, 26 SB

238. Alex Wood: 8-5, 3.13 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 102 K

241. Evan Gattis: .259, 22 HR, 70 RBI, 47 R, 0 SB

258. Chris Johnson: .281, 14 HR, 74 RBI, 58 R, 2 SB

263. Brandon Beachy: 8-7, 3.83 ERA, 1.25 WHIP, 122 K’s

While I agree with most of these rankings, it’s hard to over look the fact that Chris Johnson still isn’t getting any love from fantasy baseball projectors.  To have him as low as 258th is a little ludicrous to me.

Gattis, I can see why they have him as low as they do because being in the catcher position.  His stats though are pretty spot on to what I think he’ll do this year except for the runs scored.  If they are projecting 22 home runs, then that only means he’ll score 25 other times with guys like B.J. Upton and Dan Uggla hitting behind him…..oh wait….

Other projections that stuck out to me is the season they are projecting for B.J.  While he’s not ranked very high, his stats are very attractive compared to last season.  I would definitely take 18 home runs, a .231 batting average and 26 stolen bases.  If he can somehow find his way on base, we’ve got the guys to bring him in.

I’m a little surprised on how much Justin Upton’s stock has lower in the past season.  With a pretty decent season from him, early he was unstoppable but he did go through some pains, I would of figured he’d still be a top outfielder.  This list has Upton as the 13th outfielder.  Though ESPN has Martin Prado ranked at 115, I’ve seen other projections so far in 2014 rank higher than Justin.

Our five man pitching rotation is ranked in the top 300, which is a good thing but our highest is 71 with Minor.  Their projections have 58 wins from our starting pitchers, when last year that group gave us 47 wins….granted Beachy and Wood didn’t pitch for most of the season.

And how can we forget our $135 man, Freddie Freeman, jumps into the #33 spot.  His projections look spot on and I think we can all agree that we’d love to see those numbers again from him this year and possibly even better as he grows into a complete hitter.

Looking forward to this season as should you, we’ve got a lot to build off of last season and hopefully we can make a run at the 2014 World Series.

Those are my brief takes on ESPN’s projections, how do you feel about them?

Tags: Atlanta Braves FanSided

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