We take a look at the Atlanta Braves players who led the team in all sorts of categories with the bat in 2019.
This is pretty straight forward as we take a look at the Atlanta Braves offensive statistics from their 97-win season. We’ll list the leaders in your traditional stats and we might get a little weird with them, too. After all, this is baseball and what is baseball without some weird statistics?
Hits - Ozzie Albies paced the club in hits with 189, ending the season as the only Brave to finish with over 180 hits.
Singles - Your hits leader is also your leader in single baggers. Albies finished with four more singles than Ronald Acuna Jr.
Doubles - Ozzie Albies raked a phenomenal 43 doubles. He's not some slap-hitting second baseman! He brings some serious pop to the keystone!
Triples - Take a wild guess as to which player finished first. For all the home runs Acuna hits, sometimes it can be easy to overlook the scrappy second basemen.
Home Runs - Josh Donaldson may have brought the rain to Atlanta, but Ronald Acuna Jr. brought the thunder with a team-leading 41 home runs. Braves' legend Freddie Freeman finished second with 38 and the Bringer of Rain poured on 37 of his own.
557 of Acuna's 715 plate appearances came as the leadoff hitter. Acuna blasted 34 of his 41 homers from the leadoff spot.
Runs Scored - Ronald Acuna Jr. not only led the Braves in runs scored, but he also led the entire National League in runs scored with 127 tally marks on the board.
Runs Batted In - MLB.com's number one first baseman in the game led the Braves in RBIs. Freddie Freeman is a stalwart in the three-hole for the Braves - hopefully for many years to come - and with Acuna and Albies getting on base in every way possible, Freeman has ample opportunities to bring'em home.
Freeman finished second in RBI in the National League to Anthony Rendon. Freeman is one of the best pure hitters in the game. With Acuna and Albies hitting in front of him, there's a pretty good chance he leads the league in RBI this season.
Walks - Josh Donaldson didn't just use his umbrella to protect him from precipitation, it also worked as an effective walking cane to aid him in his 100 free passes. Donaldson's 100 walks were 13 better the next best.
Donaldson's 100 walks were good for fourth in the National League.
Intentional Walks -Freddie Freeman instilled the most fear in opposing pitcher's hearts by drawing 11 intentional bases on balls.
Road wRC+ - Your best Braves' player on the road with more than 50 plate appearances was Mr. Brave, Freddie Freeman with a 145 wRC+.
Home wRC+ - Our best player at home with more than 50 plate appearances was Josh Donaldson with a 163 wRC+.
Best Hitting Pitcher- Max Fried was the only Braves pitcher with more than nine plate appearances to finish with a wRC+ above zero. Fried led the way with a score of 11, which leads to my next article: Why the NL NEEDS a DH.
Strikeouts - Acuna amassed 188 strikeouts last season, good (or bad) for 33 strikeouts more than second place. Interestingly enough, the three players who struck out the most were also the top three in home runs on the team.
Beanballs - If you asked me to guess, I'd say Acuna was the easy choice for most bruises on the team. It was a lot closer than I thought, Acuna
finished with nine and Josh Donaldson earned second place with eight.
Grounded into Double Plays - A result of hitting with runners on base so often, Freddie Freeman led the team with 17 ground balls that led to double plays.
Stolen Bases - The team leader threatened to become the fifth member of Major League Baseball's 40/40 club. He came up just a little shy in steals but still led the team. This one is not even close. Ronald Acuna Jr. had more stolen bases (37) than the second, third, and fourth place combined. Here's a visual.
Caught Stealing - Acuna finished with an 80% success rate on stolen bases. He had 46 attempts and was caught nine times.
Batting Average - Of players with at least 50 plate appearances, late-season acquisition, and defensive specialist, Adeiny Hechavarria, finished first on the team in average with a .328. Hechavarria only played in 24 games for the Braves so if we raise the minimum plate appearances then we have a three-way tie.
Freddie Freeman, Ozzie Albies, and Matt Joyce all finished with a .295 batting average for the 2019 NL East Champions.
The following ratios require batters have at least 50 plate appearances to qualify.
Walk Percentage - The newest Miami Marlin not only tied for the team lead in batting average but he led the team in walk percentage, earning a free ticket to first in 16.0% of his plate appearances.
Strikeout Percentage - Julio Teheran earned 60 plate appearances last season which qualified him for this list. I could clarify by only using non-pitchers but instead, I'll use them as a highlighter. Julio Teheran and Mike Soroka finished first and third with 40.0% and 34.9% K-rates. Austin Riley finished second on the team, right between the two pitchers with a 36.5%.
On-Base Percentage - A calling card of the Tampa Bay Rays is on-base ability. Matt Joyce was once-upon-a-time the cleanup hitter for the Rays. Joyce showed he can still get on base with the best of them last season as he posted a .408 OBP in 238 PAs.
Of the regular players, Freddie Freeman led the way by getting on base with a .389 OBP. Despite only hitting .246, Ender Inciarte still got on base at a .343 clip.
The Braves had seven players finish above a .350 on-base percentage.
Slugging Percentage -
It’s easy to see why the Braves brought Adeiny Hechavarria back for 2020. On top of his premium defense, he brought the wood like he never has before. Hechavarria slugged .639 in 70 plate appearances.
Of players with more than 70 PAs, Adam Duvall finished first with a .567 SLG in 130 PAs.
Of Players with more than 130 PAs, Freddie Freeman finished first with .549 SLG.
OPS - Hechavarria got on base and crushed the ball like he never had before. After being let go by the Mets while hitting around the .200-mark, he must have been reinvigorated by the opportunity to play on a playoff team. Better known for his glove than his bat, I don't think anyone expects this from him in 2020, but man he was fun to watch in 2019!
Of players with more than 70 PAs, Freddie Freeman led the team with a .938 OPS.
wRC+ - Players with more than 70 PAs, Freeman again led the team with a 138 wRC+. He was six points higher than Josh Donaldson and 12 points better than Ronald Acuna Jr.
Best Hitter vs. the Shift - Again, Matt Joyce was some kind of hitter. Seeing Adeiny Hechavarria and Matt Joyce topping these stats shows how well the Braves' bench played all season. Matt Joyce was shifted on in 134 PAs and slashed .381/.455/.836 against it. This was good for a wRC+ of 119 when facing the shift.
Ender Inciarte finished second on the club against the shift with a 109 wRC+.
High Leverage Hitter - Ronald Acuna Jr. finished with a 140 wRC+ in high-leverage situations. Josh Donaldson finished with a spectacular 156 wRC+ and 1.021 OPS in high-leverage situations. Those two star-players stepped up in a big way during crucial situations, but that wasn't enough to best the best of the best.
Freddie Freeman led the way with an unbelievable 188 wRC+ by slashing .375/.455/.708 in high-leverage situations.
Best Leadoff hitter - Of the four players that received 25 or more plate appearances in the leadoff spot, none did more with the opportunity than Ronald Acuna Jr. According to Fangraphs, Acuna was 29 points above average in runs created from the leadoff spot. The next closest on the team? Ozzie Albies with a 111. Dansby Swanson finished with a slightly above average score of 103 and Ender Inciarte finished with a score of 42 in 42 plate appearances.
HR vs. LHP -Ozzie Albies hit 11 homers against left-handed pitching in 2019. That's a Herculean at-bats per homer ratio of 13.5.
Acuna finished second with ten homers against southpaws.
OPS vs. LHP - Albies led the way in OPS against lefties with a 1.099.
AVG vs. LHP - .389 average was tops amongst the Bravos and it belonged to Mr. Albies.
OBP vs. LHP - Okay, now this is getting boring. Albies had a .414 OBP against lefties. If the Braves are facing left-handed pitching then you need Ozzie Albies in your daily fantasy sports lineups.
Line-drive Percentage - Freddie Freeman has been a line-drive machine in his career but last season he finished second on the team in line-drive percentage for players with over 50 plate appearances. Matt Joyce finished with a whopping 29.2% of his total balls in play being line-drives.
Hard-Hit Percentage - Of players with more than 50 PAs, Adeiny Hechavarria led the way again. His small sample size might be a misleading, so of the regulars, Josh Donaldson brought the rain by leading the club with 47.5% of his balls in play qualifying as "hard-hits."
Just for comparison's sake, Marcell Ozuna finished with what would have been a club-leading 48.1% hard-hit rate in 2019.
There are some interesting takeaways to be had here. What did you notice?