Sport Braves' Ozzie Albies might be even better if he could get on base. Seriously.

23:45  16 may  2018
23:45  16 may  2018 Source:   sportingnews.com

Ozzie Albies has been a big surprise for the Braves, but can his power surge continue?

  Ozzie Albies has been a big surprise for the Braves, but can his power surge continue? Ozzie Albies has demolished the ball this year, but some numbers say that may not continue this year.Albies, scouted as having mediocre power and never showing an affinity for the long ball, currently leads MLB in home runs. Across 154 games last year between the majors and Triple A, Albies hit only 15 homers — double the number of home runs he had hit in his entire professional career before 2017. As of May 15, Albies has hit 13 home runs, tied for the most in the majors.

Ozzie Albies shot up the Atlanta Braves depth chart with a big spring last year and then had a very solid 2016. He can use his elite speed and base running to get a few extra base hits on balls that others wouldn’t for sure, but he ’s got legit hard contact.

Should he move to 3rd base he could add even more power to his frame, as at 6'0 170 he has room to grow. Swanson even has plus speed Swanson is the protype for the player you would want hitting in that 2 spot behind Albies , and a Ozzie -Dansby-Freddie combo could be hell for opposing pitchers.

Ozzie Albies is a bit of a conumdrum. We've seen the excitment he brings to the game. We've seen the surprising number of early home runs. We've seen the ever-accumulating total of extra-base hits. It's all fun, and it's all great.

But here's the thing: Ozzie Albies doesn't really get on base that much. Seriously.

For all the good Albies has done through 41 games, the Braves' second baseman carries a paltry .316 on-base percentage coming into play Wednesday. That's not good, especially not good for a lead-off hitter. So why bring this up? Whatever he's doing is clearly working, right? Well, it depends on how you look at it. And here's how I look at it: Albies would probably be an even better hitter with just a slight change to his offensive approach.

MLB Power Rankings: Nationals, Braves shoot into top 5; Mets, Dodgers tumble

  MLB Power Rankings: Nationals, Braves shoot into top 5; Mets, Dodgers tumble A lot has changed in the past two weeks.We feel pretty confident you won’t mind. And so we won’t delay. Onto the rankings.

Albies saw him move back so decided to bunt. The play by Rockies catcher Tony Walters may have been even more perfect. # Braves challenge call that Ozzie Albies is out at 1B in the 6th; call stands, runner is out. The umps on the field called up the good boys in New York to take a look at this play.

Ozzie Albies is starting at second base . There’s no sign of Brandon Phillips. If all of this is a bit weird to you when you consider how the Braves have looked on the field for the past month or so, then you better get ready for this to be close to the norm.

MORE: Braves surge in latest SN MLB Power Rankings

First, some background: The Braves have taken an aggressive approach with their offense in 2018. For example, they've put the first pitch in play in 234 at-bats in 2018, by far the most in MLB. Overall, they've had 578 plate appearances in which they swung at the first pitch, also the most by far. It's hard to argue that the aggressive approach isn't working — they're in first place and lead the NL in a slew of offensive categories, including average, on-base percentage and slugging. Albies has clearly been a big part of their success, but early in the count he's arguably been a victim of an over-aggressive approach, as that .316 on-base percentage indicates.

Consider: Albies has put the ball in play on the first pitch more than any other count — 38 times through Tuesday — and more than any other Brave this season. And in those at-bats, he has an average and on-base percentage of .342 with four home runs. While .342 would be a great average over a full season, it's not especially great when the goal is to reach base on the first pitch of an at-bat (league average on the first-pitch batted balls is .325). So while you can argue that Albies is better than average on first-pitch swings, the difference doesn't seem vast enough to justify the approach.

Braves place pitcher Mike Soroka on DL with shoulder strain

  Braves place pitcher Mike Soroka on DL with shoulder strain The team reportedly doesn't think the top prospect's right shoulder strain is serious, and he could make his next scheduled start. Since being called up only weeks ago and winning his MLB debut May 1, Soroka, 20, is 1-1 in three starts with a 3.68 ERA. He has recorded 15 strikeouts in 14 2/3 innings.Words can’t even begin to express how incredible these last couple days have been. The best part by far was seeing the family and friends who came out to support. This was for them, and I wouldn’t have liked to live this dream without them. A moment I will cherish forever. pic.twitter.

Ozzie Albies continues to sparkle at Double-A Mississippi. I watched him live and he ’s a bit terrifying to watch as he has trouble locating his fastball, seriously he hit the backstop twice on warm ups when I went to Acuña’s arrival adds even more excitement to an entertaining Braves team Yes, it’s April.

Ozzie Albies reached base on a fifth inning single in game one and saw himself on base three times in Game two, extending his on base streak to an even 20 games. More From Talking Chop. May 8: Braves vs Rays.

a man holding a baseball bat© (Getty Images)

So what would be good? That's tough to say. But if a hitter — especially in the lead-off spot — routinely attempts to reach base on the first pitch he sees, the success rate should be much higher for that approach to be considered appropriate for that hitter. For example, Freddie Freeman can ambush a first pitch with the best of them. He's hitting .467 when he puts the first pitch in play, which justifies a swing-early approach.

But it's not limited to just the first pitch with Albies. He's seen two or fewer pitches in 72 at-bats and is hitting a combined .333 when putting an 0-0, 1-0 or 0-1 pitch in play, which, again, isn't nearly as good as it seems given the circumstances. League average for those combined spots is .327. Here's Albies' overall breakdown.

Count/Balls-Strikes

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

Dansby Swanson injury update: Braves shortstop activated from disabled list

  Dansby Swanson injury update: Braves shortstop activated from disabled list Swanson is hitting .289 with two home runs and 13 RBIs for the Braves this season.Atlanta sent down pitcher Matt Wisler to create room on its roster.

With Albies in the lineup at second base tonight, it could well be that the Braves are readying to move on from Phillips — who could be traded or allowed to depart through a waiver claim, though he does have 12-team no-trade protection.

Add in Albies plus to double plus speed, and I think you get the picture that not only does Ozzie project out better over the course of his He can be and has been consistently exposed at every level he has played at and is such a risky player that even with his ceiling can ’t be considered a top level prospect.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

Braves end Jose Bautista experiment following veteran's lackluster performance

  Braves end Jose Bautista experiment following veteran's lackluster performance Atlanta will turn to Johan Camargo as its starting third baseman.The Atlanta Braves took a no-risk flyer by signing veteran slugger Jose Bautista back in mid-April, and following 12 major-league games the organization elected to turn the page at third base. The team released Bautista on Sunday morning, general manager Alex Anthopoulos announced.

Ozzie Albies is on fire right now. Given the struggles of some members of the Atlanta rotation in addition to the trade deadline coming up, it still seems possible that we could see Medlen suit up for Atlanta by season’s end even if he may not be the pitcher he once was .

# Braves No. 2 Ozzie Albies flashed his 70-grade speed as he raced around the bases on a two-run triple. Not only can he play defense but Ender can get on base very well and while he may never hit many home runs, his on base percentage is .344.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

Braves release third baseman Jose Bautista

  Braves release third baseman Jose Bautista The veteran hit .143 (5-for-35) with two home runs and 12 strikeouts in 12 games for Atlanta. Bautista, 37, broke out with the Blue Jays in 2010 but batted .203 with 23 home runs in 140 starts last season before Toronto declined to pick up his $17 million option in the offseason.

Braves ' Ozzie Albies : Clubs 10th homer Thursday. Ozzie Albies went 2-for-6 with a three-run home run in Thursday's 11-0 rout of the Mets.The evolution of Albies If that's the case, Albies would likely benefit from more stolen- base opportunities than he might otherwise earn as the Braves ' No. 2 hitter.

Ozzie Albies has made it clear that his goal is to make it to the big leagues as a teenager. If he keeps on impressing the Braves coaching staff, there's a chance that Albies could make it happen. "Roger straightened him up and got him going downhill.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

Christian Villanueva hits second homer in as many days

  Christian Villanueva hits second homer in as many days May has not been the kindest month for Christian Villanueva, but the Padres third baseman seems to be turning it around. In the top of the fourth inning on Sunday, Villanueva ripped a 92 mile-per-hour fastball from Pirates starter Trevor Williams into the Padres bullpen in left-center field.Another one for @Villa_at_3B! This 2-run shot puts the @Padres on top, 2-1. #LetsGoPadresFSGO: https://t.co/PIff3qfpxspic.twitter.com/UEpy9YKUVy— FOX Sports San Diego (@FOXSportsSD) May 20, 2018The home run, which gave San Diego a 2-1 lead, traveled 410 feet with an exit velocity of 108 mph.

Braves ' Ozzie Albies : Clubs 10th homer Thursday. 2D ago • By RotoWire Staff. If that's the case, Albies would likely benefit from more stolen- base opportunities than he might otherwise earn as the Braves ' No. 2 hitter.

Ozzie Albies shot up the Atlanta Braves depth chart with a big spring last year and then had a very solid 2016. He can use his elite speed and base running to get a few extra base hits on balls that others wouldn’t for sure, but he ’s got legit hard contact.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

Takeaways from the Padres' 8-5 comeback win over the Pirates

  Takeaways from the Padres' 8-5 comeback win over the Pirates Down 5-4 in the top of the ninth, the San Diego Padres pushed across four runs off Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez to win 8-5 and take the series in Pittsburgh.San Diego improved to 20-28 while Pittsburgh fell to 26-20.TakeawaysPadres rally in 9th to take seriesThe Pirates entered Sunday’s game with a 21-0 record when leading after eight innings. The Padres entered the game 0-24 when trailing after eight.Make it 21-1. And 1-24.With a 5-4 lead in hand, (who struck out the side on 13 pitches on Thursday) entered looking for his 10th save of the season.

Atlanta Braves ' Ozzie Albies hits a single in the first inning of a spring baseball exhibition game against the Detroit Tigers, Wednesday, March 21, 2018, in Could the same fate befall Albies ? He does strike out too often for a player his size, but his elite speed should help keep the on - base percentage up.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

SF000011000000011
SplitGGSPAABRH2B3BHRRBIBBSOBAOBPSLGOPSTBHBPSHSF000011000000011 IBBROEBAbiptOPS+sOPS+
First Pitch2938381213104700.342.342.6841.0262600SF000011000000011 00.265126124
1-0 Count12151455103400.357.4001.0711.4711510SF000011000000011 00.182210200
2-0 Count55512100100.400.400.6001.000300SF000011000000011 00.400130117
3-0 Count22000000201.000000SF00001100000001100
0-1 Count18212036201400.300.286.550.8361100SF00001100000001100.2508595
1-1 Count111312561031000.500.4621.3331.7951600SF00001100000001100.300275285
2-1 Count77724200000.571.571.8571.429600SF00001100000001100.571228201
3-1 Count4421100020.500.7501.0001.750200SF00001100000001100.500309155
0-2 Count141616110100010.063.063.188.250300SF00001100000001100.167-4826
1-2 Count17242322100109.087.087.130.217301SF00001100000001100.143-506
2-2 Count202524541011010.167.200.333.533810SF00001100000001101.23120131
Full Count19241926301357.316.458.6321.0901200SF00001100000001100.455153182
Batter Ahead3557471018804897.383.491.8091.3003810SF00001100000001100.389194161
Even Count397674222330818010.311.316.676.9915010SF00001100000001101.263116176
Pitcher Ahead356159693115019.153.150.288.4381701SF00001100000001100.200-369
Source: Baseball-Reference.com

MORE: MLB Mock Draft: Who should go where?

Which brings us back to Albies' low on-base percentage. After carrying a solid .342 OBP for March/April, Albies has seen that number drop to just .269 in May. One reason is that pitchers seem to have adjusted and are peppering the zone with high fastballs when Albies is at the plate, which, given his aggressive approach, has resulted in a lot of pop-ups or shallow fly outs. His average and on-base percentage when he puts the ball in the air is .224, despite his 13homers. Not to mention that Albies doesn't walk much. He's had just nine so far in 194 plate appearances. But that's usually what happens when a batter consistently swings early in the count.

So what should/could Albies do to boost his on-base numbers? Well, there are a couple of options:

1)Be more patient: The most productive time for Albies to swing has been on a 1-1 count. He's hitting .500 with three homers and 10 RBIs in those situations. When he's ahead in the count, he's hitting .383 with a .491 on-base percentage and four homers. So, it would seem, even a little patience would be to his advantage.

2) Be more selective: There's nothing wrong with swinging at the first pitch, or otherwise being aggressive early in the count — assuming you get good pitches to hit. But when young batters get hyped up to swing, there can be a tendency to chase pitches outside their hot zones. Consider this at-bat May 6 against the Giants, in which Albies batted with two outs in the bottom of the ninth, with the Braves down by one and the tying run at third. The first pitch is in the high-inside portion of the strike zone — not at all in Albies' wheel house. He offers a weak swing, perhaps realizing too late it isn't the pitch he wanted, and pops out to end the game.

MORE: 7 questions for Robinson Cano after his failed drug test

Of course, there's also a third option when discussing all this.

3) Do nothing: This is where I'm willing to consider the potential foolishness of my argument. Maybe Albies should just keep doing what he's doing. Maybe his run production makes up for a lack of on-base prowess. His wRC+ is 140 (that's 27th best in MLB; league average is 100). When he gets hits, he tends to get a lot out of them: Of his 50 hits in 2018, 28 have been for extra bases. He's tied for the MLB lead in homers, he leads the NL in total bases and runs, and is tied for the team lead in RBIs. He's accumulated 1.8 rWAR so far, which is third-highest on the team. Perhaps I just don't know what I'm talking about.

But ...

SF

0

0

0

0

1

1

0

0

0

0

0

0

0

1

1

It seems a more patient approach at the plate would not only make Albies an even better hitter, but would make the Braves a better team. In theory, with Albies on base more there would be more stolen bases, more runners in scoring position and more RBI chances for Acuña, Freeman and Markakis — who have already accounted for a crazy amount of run-scoring hits. In other words, it would present the potential for a lot more runs for the Braves, who already rank third in MLB in that category. But imagine how it might look if Albies had, say, a .350 OBP and wreaked more havoc on the bases. It could make a scary offense even more intimidating.

Also important: Ablies is still just 21, so there's obviously plenty to time for him to mature as a hitter. As his power numbers regress — it's not wise to expect him to keep this pace up for the whole season — his other offensive skills, such as his speed and ability to drive the ball, will need to take over if he's to remain such a valuable piece of the Braves' offense.

Albies has been a big surprise so far. But don't be surprised if he gets even better.

Takeaways from the Padres' 8-5 comeback win over the Pirates .
Down 5-4 in the top of the ninth, the San Diego Padres pushed across four runs off Pirates closer Felipe Vazquez to win 8-5 and take the series in Pittsburgh.San Diego improved to 20-28 while Pittsburgh fell to 26-20.TakeawaysPadres rally in 9th to take seriesThe Pirates entered Sunday’s game with a 21-0 record when leading after eight innings. The Padres entered the game 0-24 when trailing after eight.Make it 21-1. And 1-24.With a 5-4 lead in hand, (who struck out the side on 13 pitches on Thursday) entered looking for his 10th save of the season.

—   Share news in the SOC. Networks

Topical videos:

This is interesting!