3 Braves trade targets that would be immediate team stat leaders

Braves trade targets (Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports)
Braves trade targets (Mandatory Credit: Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports) /
2 of 3
Austin Hays, Atlanta Braves trade targets
Austin Hays, Orioles Mandatory Credit: Mitch Stringer-USA TODAY Sports /

Austin Hays would be a double machine

Home runs are nice, but living and dying by the long ball is not the way to go. Just ask the New York Yankees, who have the fifth-most home runs but the third-fewest doubles, ultimately working out to the 14th-highest run differential, just middle-of-the-road.

When the bats go cold, you need to generate offense the old-fashioned way: Getting on base and running the paths well.

The Braves don’t quite have that issue. They lead the MLB in home runs and also have the highest run differential. The one area they could continue to build up offensively is doubles, though, where they rank 15th, just middle of the road.

Austin Hays, who was tossed out as a potential candidate here, could help fill that gap.

So far this season, Hays has hit 22 doubles which would come in just three behind the team leader, Acuña, at 25. The next-highest on the team is Sean Murphy with 17.

Hays is in a contract season so much like some of the midseason acquisitions the Braves made the last time they earned a World Series victory, they wouldn’t have to commit to the contract for too long. Hays is an emerging candidate that might be worth pursuing in free agency anyway, though, considering he’s still just 28 and playing better and better each year.

In addition to his ability to rack up doubles, Hays has an OPS+ of 135. He also has one of the strongest outfield arms in the majors with an overall 90.8 speed and a high of 100 miles per hour. He would be a massive upgrade over Eddie Rosario, who has a relatively weak arm.