The start of another baseball season is just around the corner and it’s time to go out on a limb and get bold to predict what surprises could be in store.
The end of March can only mean one thing and that’s Major League Baseball is just about to kick into full swing. Baseball fans love this time of the season as optimism runs rampant even for teams that likely don’t have a real shot. Every team enjoys the fresh start and there’s not much better than heading to the ballpark to watch a favorite player or team try to capture the ultimate prize, a World Series title.
This article is just one of many primers going into the 2018 season and these predictions are a touch bold for what might happen. Even though they could be the best or worst case scenario for certain teams and players, there are stats and pointers to back the predictions. Every single one certainly won’t be totally accurate but it should start to give a picture of how the 2018 season could go. There’s a kernel of truth involved in everything. The tour around the league will start in the National League East and go all the way out to the American League West. Baseball is so close you can practically hear the crack of the bat and the whizz of the seams as a fastball whips into the catchers mitt.
Atlanta Braves – Ozzie Albies has a better season than Ronald Acuna
Baseball’s forgotten prospect is Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies. The hype over teammate and uber-prospect Ronald Acuna is reaching a fevered pitch right now. He’s generally considered the best prospect in the game and the sky is the limit for the youngster. Acuna is playing well this spring with an average over .350 and an OPS over .960. He also hit a monster home run off of Yankees starter Masahiro Tanaka to the opposite field. His hype is warranted but Albies is not getting near enough attention at the moment and he’s going to be the more productive player in 2018.
Last season Albies played 57 games with the Braves and was eye-opening in his limited time. His triple slash line was .286/.354/.810. He also added in eight stolen bases and six home runs. Perhaps the most impressive stat Albies put up was a 21/36 BB/K ratio when he was just 20 years old. On any other team that didn’t boast the number one prospect in baseball(not to mention a boatload of other exciting players), Albies would be garnering all sorts of headlines. He’s entering his age-21 season with a little bit of experience under his belt and is primed to explode.
Acuna seems like he will live up to the hype. He will also start the season in AAA no matter what so Atlanta can gain an extra season of contractual control. Even though Albies will have a slight head start, his stat line will be better than Acuna’s by the end of the season. Don’t be surprised if he hits in the range of .285 with 15 home runs and at least 20 stolen bases. Acuna will have a few bumps in the road while Albies already has a taste of the big leagues. That will give him the edge and the future is intensely bright for the Braves.