So lots of times, Braves groups have actually left October with absolutely nothing however a bruised ego and a confident outlook. Lots of times, the outlook showed mainly proper– however ended with more refrains of “wait till next year.”
Not this time: Next year has actually lastly gotten here in Atlanta. The Braves are World Series champs for the very first time because1995
But for these world champs, who for a very long time appeared to have no organization getting to the World Series, not to mentioned winning it, this variation of “wait till next year” has a much higher sensation of enjoyment. Due to the fact that next year, they ought to be even much better.
To comprehend why, think about the significant realities that you’ve practically certainty heard by now:
— They did all this without the terrific Ronald Acuña Jr., their finest total gamer, out with a torn ACL considering that July.
— They did all this without pitcher Mike Soroka, formerly the personnel ace, who has actually missed out on substantial time after tearing his Achilles two times.
— They did all this without Marcell Ozuna, their finest player in 2020, who broke 2 fingers in May and after that was detained and suspended on a domestic violence charge.
— They did all this in spite of that a person of their leading free-agent acquisitions, pitcher Drew Smyly, was benched to the bullpen for the last month.
— They did all this without a winning record up until August, which is simply insane.
So, yes, the 2021 Braves are rather the unanticipated World Series champs. The 2022 Braves, nevertheless, will be anticipated to make more sound– and we must anticipate it to be plenty loud.
Though the group does have some unknowns heading into 2022, we can predict boldly simply based upon a couple of fairly safe knowns.
— Acuña will most likely be back at some time early in the season.
— Charlie Morton will most likely continue to be Charlie Morton.
— Max Fried, fresh off a dominant Game 6 efficiency worldwide Series, will be more skilled and more polished.
— Young righty Ian Anderson, who’s been a regular-season pleasure and a postseason master, will continue to establish his nasty changeup.
— Austin Riley, the group’s MVP in 2021 who slashed.303/.367/.531 and clubbed 33 homers, will play a complete season with the self-confidence acquired in his breakout 2021.
— Ozzie Albies, who struck 30 homers and drove in 106, will be that far more knowledgeable.
— The bullpen, so dominant in the 2nd half and specifically in the postseason, will return completely undamaged.
— Knowing they’re the protecting World Series champs is a quite great X-factor.
Now, about those unknowns.
— Freddie Freeman is a totally free representative. He wishes to remain in Atlanta, and the Braves desire him. There are never ever any warranties, however it would be stunning to see him in another consistent next season.
— Soroka, formerly their No. 1 starter, might go back to the rotation if his Achilles enables it. The Braves can’t count on him either returning or being the very same dominant pitcher he was prior to the injury (he’s now missed out on almost 2 complete seasons). It’s definitely possible.
— Ozuna’s legal scenario is continuous, as is MLB’s examination. It’s not likely he plays in Atlanta once again, however the Braves’ trade-deadline acquisitions in 2021 can most likely change his production, even if not all of them return.
— Speaking of those acquisitions, the Braves will have choices to make about whether to revive any mix of NLCS MVP Eddie Rosario, World Series MVP Jorge Soler, homer-happy Adam Duvall and the pearl-wearing Joc Pederson. All were secrets to the group’s second-half success, however there’s most likely not space for everybody, even if the National League embraces the DH. I ‘d anticipate at least Duvall, who has a mutal choice for 2022, and Soler to return.
So, what can we reasonably anticipate? Brief response: A lot. For beginners, do not pay excessive attention to their 2021 regular-season record. Their 88-73 record is not absolutely reflective of truth. The group that built up the bulk of those 73 losses is actually not the very same group that won the World Series. Their run differential alone recommended a 94- win group over 162 video games which number seems like the flooring for a healthy Braves group in2022
None of this considers possible trades or free-agent finalizings, and there will likely be the type of injuries and obstacles every group handles. The reality is this: The Braves must stay stacked, and they might possibly be the finest group in the National League– both on paper and in truth.
This will be a group with brand new World Series goals. A 5th straight NL East title feels baked-in, and another deep October run will be the expectation.
The Braves are the 2021 champs, however wait till next year. The program may simply be getting going.