For the past couple weeks I have been going over the Braves’ potential candidates to replace the retired Chipper Jones as the face of the franchise. I have already done Jason Heyward and Brian McCann. This week I’m going to talk about their addition who is new to the National League…
#2 B. J. Upton CF
The first big splash the Braves made this winter will be expected to make a splash as soon as he hits the field. And even though he is new to both the team and League, he has the potential to be one of the best players on the Braves’ roster as well as a team leader. The Braves are a pretty young team who are, for the most part, still in the early years of their time in Atlanta. B.J. is only 28 years old and looks like he is entering his prime. After a relatively quiet year there is hope that B.J. will really come alive in the presence of his younger brother, Justin.
B.J. should improve every aspect of the Braves’ game. He is a solid hitter that can hit for power when needed. He also adds a ton of speed to their roster, which fills the hole Michael Bourn left behind. Perhaps most important is his playoff experience. B.J. spent his first 8 seasons on the Tampa Bay Rays in the highly competitive AL East. In those 8 seasons his team made the playoffs 3 times, including a trip to the World Series in 2008. That is more than most of the players on the Braves roster could say. This experience will be crucial for the team down the stretch and will make B.J. a natural leader when the playoffs get closer.
Is B.J. not a good fit for the face of the franchise because he is too new? Or would it be better to have a fresh face represent the team? Who would you like to see covered next week?