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Fantasy baseball player profiles: Atlanta Braves

Fantasy baseball player profiles: Atlanta Braves

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1 Brian McCann, C, Atlanta Braves
2 Troy Glaus, 1B, Atlanta Braves
3 Martin Prado, 1B/2B/3B, Atlanta Braves
4 Chipper Jones, 3B, Atlanta Braves
5 Yunel Escobar, SS, Atlanta Braves
6 Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta Braves
7 Melky Cabrera, OF, Atlanta Braves
8 Nate McLouth, OF, Atlanta Braves
9 Derek Lowe, SP, Atlanta Braves
10 Kenshin Kawakami, SP, Atlanta Braves
11 Jair Jurrjens, SP, Atlanta Braves
12 Tommy Hanson, SP, Atlanta Braves
13 Tim Hudson, SP, Atlanta Braves
14 Kris Medlen, RP, Atlanta Braves
15 Takashi Saito, RP, Atlanta Braves
16 Billy Wagner, RP, Atlanta Braves

Brian McCann, C, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
4705612329771.262.336.481.817

Brian McCann has made inconsistent yet definite strides in batting average skills. Tack on assumed end to potential problem with blurred vision after second Lasik procedure. Rates of homers and flyballs have been on ever-so-slight slide, though. Age says this tradeoff shouldn't be concern, but know you're paying for that slight possibility.


Troy Glaus, 1B, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
000000.000.000.000.000

Injuries (oblique, shoulder) kept Troy Glaus out for most of 2009. Shoulder problem could sap already disappearing power, although offseason work has focused on strengthening that area. If 2008 was any indication, batting average may have slightly improved baseline. How much playing time can you expect? It shouldn't cost much to check it out.


Martin Prado, 1B/2B/3B, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
5997117212757.287.339.421.760

Martin Prado's skills held up, with interesting gains in HR/FB and flyball percentage. The batting average should stay high thanks to things like his high contact rate. But outside that and his versatility, there is little else to bank on. Don't reach for him expecting a similar rate of power growth. He's considerably more valuable in NL leagues.


Chipper Jones, 3B, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
000000.000.000.000.000

Chipper Jones's .264 average could bounce back near .300 because of contact rate, batting eye and batted-ball percentages. His power has steadily been declining, but last year it fell off the table. The HR/FB could bounce back a bit, but flyballs are on the way down. Count on at least one DL trip. All that, no wonder everyone is so sour. Definite profit opportunity as price comes down.


Yunel Escobar, SS, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
521631409584.269.341.374.715

Yunel Escobar's power, corroborated by HR/FB and FB percentages, has slowly yet steadily climbed. An investment now gets you in at reasonable midrange mixed price as he continues upward trajectory, with little tradeoff in batting average. Physical maturity is just around corner, although mental lapses remain a concern.


Jason Heyward, OF, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
52183138226513.265.356.463.819

Consensus top prospect in baseball enters age-20 season expected to take right-field reins - maybe out of camp. Jason Heyward has skills for immediate success in batting average with at least modest power. He bulked up 20 pounds in span of one year. Adapted quickly to each level, but highest is Double-A, with limited time. Inexperience is only red flag. Worth a reach late in deep mixed affairs or before the final third in NL drafts. Expect inflation.


Melky Cabrera, OF, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
499651449527.289.333.411.744

Melky Cabrera's lofty contact rate may be climbing, but his BB/K and baselines show you that the ceiling remains limited. Nine of his 13 2009 homers came at Yankee Stadium; don't expect double digits again. No reason to draft for continued improvement or even maintenance of 2009 levels, but market might ask for it.


Nate McLouth, OF, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

ABRHHRRBISBBAOBPSLGOPS
304437672015.250.319.388.707

Expect an average closer to .256 (2009) than .276 (2008), when Nate McLouth's contact and line-drive rates were highs. His HR/FB continued with modest improvement. He battled oblique and hamstring injuries last year, which can absorb some of blame for fall-off, too, at least on base paths. He's a 20-20 threat but, that's probably it. Factor that into his price if someone keeps bidding.


Derek Lowe, SP, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
00000000.000.00

The sinkerballer's GB/FB has been declining for three straight years. Derek Lowe's control (2.91 BB/9) tanked; 2008 BB/9 hid negative trend there. Some bad luck bit him, too, but bottoming out of dominance raises red flag. He found some mechanical flaws this offseason that might have been contributed to his down year. His cost shouldn't be high, but his return likely isn't, either.


Kenshin Kawakami, SP, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
00000000.000.00

Kenshin Kawakami might have endured some culture shock last year. His ratios improved as the season went on. Second-half K/9 drop-off makes one leery, but endurance was a likely culprit. Expect extremely modest gains - not enough to make him anything more than a deep mixed end-gamer or low-end NL buy.


Jair Jurrjens, SP, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
00000000.000.00

Jair Jurrjens hasn't been strong enough to suggest he'll continue to pitch at semi-elite levels. Surging flyball rate says home run victimization will continue to rise, and fortunate hit rate won't continue. His cost is too high to expect a return. There should be safer options unless his draft spot falls.


Tommy Hanson, SP, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
3060643022504.501.43

Last yearTommy Hanson's value was great; this year he may cost too much. No doubt he has talent (lofty K/9, improving control), but he benefited from small savings on his home run and hit rates, among other things. Even with regression, he can still deliver as a mixed No. 2 starter, but there are more bankable commodities that will cost less.


Tim Hudson, SP, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
9016114668431133.801.17

Tim Hudson returned from Tommy John surgery and gave no reason to expect a big change in idea of his value. Control returned rather quickly, for the most part. His K/9 has stabilized and may even spike a bit. He should again be reliable, if unspectacular, but his cost is discounted compared to pre-TJ seasons. Many candidates at his level have more upside but are less likelier to hit it and have greater downside.


Kris Medlen, RP, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
00000000.000.00

Kris Medlen found a home in the bullpen after a few nervous starts and really settled down in second half. His K/9 translated and command improved as season wore on. Has makings of a valuable ratio reliever. Medlen has upside and shouldn't cost much in NL leagues - or anything in mixed.


Takashi Saito, RP, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
00000000.000.00

Takashi Saito might be good for spot save chances and is (sort of) insurance for Billy Wagner. But Saito returned from his own elbow issues. Control wasn't a problem before but didn't improve afterward. Moved toward old groundball rate as year progressed, but flyball jump is concerning. Upside mostly because of potential for opportunity. Don't acquire banking on LIMA contributions.


Billy Wagner, RP, Atlanta Braves
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2010 Fantasy Baseball Projections

WSVIPHERBBKERAWHIP
00000000.000.00

Billy Wagner's health after short stint back from elbow surgery is only marginal concern because of clean sheet before 2008. Control may still elude, but that should dissipate. His dominance last year was outstanding but confined to a small sample. Still has the skills, though. Invest in him as one of best bets in No. 2 mixed closer tier. Be wary of overvaluation from anxious drafters or undervaluation from opposite crowd.