Braves’ Ideal 25-Man Roster, Part 2
Part 2 of this 7-part series (part 1 can be found here) takes us into the realm of a guy who never lived up to expectations, another who has tried almost everything possible to make himself more desirable in his role, and lastly, a brute of a man whose favorite song should be this.
These posts analyze what place each player holds on an ideal 25-man roster. The percent chances give with each player provides my opinion on the chances each player has to make the squad out of spring, not their percent chance of belonging on the 25-man roster. Let’s start this thing out with a Georgia boy!
Atlanta Braves’ Tyler Greene
3. Tyler Greene has a 15% chance of making the roster. Interestingly enough, Tyler Greene was first drafted out of high school by none other than the Atlanta Braves, quite high I might add (2nd round). The fact that the Braves thought so highly of him to draft him in the 2nd round without knowing for sure whether he’d sign or not speaks volumes to his stock coming out of high school.
Three years later, Greene was taken in the 1st round by the Cardinals and was with their organization until 2012. He was then shipped to the Astros for next to nothing leaving many Cards’ fans wondering what in the world had happened to him. After the 2012 season, he was released by the Astros leaving everyone wondering what had happened to him (his release was a bit unfair as he posted a .739 OPS in 2011 and that was better than…well…practically everyone on the Astros team). The Astros picked up Ronny Cedeno and played him at short for 2012 because that’s what the Astros do…nonsensical things.
Tyler’s claim to fame has always been his power, but his inability to make consistent contact is what has kept his game from ever excelling at the big league level. Unlike the other Tyler (Pastornicky), Greene has shown that he can handle shortstop, albeit slightly below average. However, he’s going to be 30 this year and what potential he might have had with the bat is probably fading rapidly away. With the ability to play shortstop and swing for the fences coming off the bench, does Tyler Greene provide value to this team? My answer: No.
Atlanta Braves’ Joey Terdoslavich
4. Joey Terdoslavich has a 50% chance of making the roster. If it were an “Evil Eye” competition for a bench spot, Terdoslavich would still lose out to Ryan Doumit. They both have eyes that pierce souls, coagulate blood, and cause babies to wail. Ehhh… back to baseball.
If Joey’s last few years are any indication of future production, this year could very well be the year that Terdoslavich breaks through. In 2012, after struggling mightily at AAA (remember, he skipped AA in a rush to get him ready to take over for Chipper at 3rd), Joey was sent back to AA and went back to playing first. He absolutely crushed the competition.
In 2013, Joey started at AAA and had a triple slash line of .318/.359/.567 with 18 home runs and 24 doubles in half a season. He was then called up to the big leagues where he struggled. Aside from keeping a healthy walk rate, there was nothing positive about his production. Being a pinch hitter isn’t an easy task for a rookie to take on, and that’s likely all Terdoslavich will ever be as a Brave. His one real chance to start was at 3rd base but that experiment went horribly.
This year, the Braves are trying to increase his value to the club by adding catching to his repertoire. He was drafted as a catcher so the move isn’t similar to the move to 3rd base, but an actual transition that might go ok. However, Joey’s one skill is his stick, isolated a bit more, his stick from the left side of the plate. And it’s a very good stick, only from the left side. With the additions of playing both corner outfield positions last year to go along with the ability to play 1st base, if Joey can show a glimpse of that power this spring and add catching to his resume, does Joey provide value to this team? My answer: Yes.
Atlanta Braves’ Ernesto Mejia
5. Ernesto Mejia has a 5% chance of making the roster. I’m fairly certain Mejia and Albert Pujols are long lost brothers. Their body build and facial features are nearly identical. Unfortunately for Mejia, that’s where it ends as he neither has the talent or the money of his older brother.
For years, I’ve wondered why Mejia has never received a callup from the organization. The only thing I can guess is that the organization knows something I do not. Mejia can hit a ton, has a decent walk rate, and, like most power hitters, strikes out quite a bit (26% of his plate appearances). He’s completely one-dimensional and provides no defensive value whatsoever, but did I mention he looks like Pujols? In all seriousness, there have been numerous times over the last 2-3 years where I thought for sure that Mejia would receive a callup but there always seems to be a player the organization, or outside the organization, the Braves value more.
Last year it was Terdoslavich. Year prior? Overbay. Year Prior to that? A plethora of ne’er-do-wells. Will 2014 be the year of Pujols squared? Does Ernesto Mejia provide value to this team? My answer: No (but it’s more complicated than that of which I’ll talk about in the wrap-up).
Part 3 Coming Soon
The next piece will focus on the last 3 position players (Jose Constanza, Todd Cunningham, Tommy La Stella) that have a shot at making the club out of the gate, and their chances of making the Ideal 25-man Roster.