By BUCK BELUE
680 THE FAN ATLANTA – No more Disney in Orlando. The Braves have moved on to their new complex just south of Sarasota, in North Port. The Buck & Kincade Show goes live with the Braves all next week! Make plans to join us, as we bring on the Braves top players, to talk about the upcoming season.
Things I’m looking forward to checking out: 1- Top-rated prospect Cristian Pache, 2- the new Braves: Ozuna, Hamels & Will Smith, 3- the young stars: Acuna & Albies, 4- the healthy elbow of Freddie Freeman, and 5- slugger Austin Riley.
Pache is the Braves next centerfielder. Cristian is a plus-defender and had a breakout year offensively last season, with 57 extra base hits. Expect to see a combination of speed, power & athleticism. When will he bust into the Braves line-up? Sometime this season it would appear. Can’t wait to check this skill set out next week!
Ozuna will hit clean-up for us this season and should off-set what we lost in Donaldson. Marcel is an above-average MLB hitter, with the upside to be a monster! I’m expecting something close to a 30-90 season. Plug him in for 150 games and let’s play ball.
Will Smith signed a 3-year deal with the Braves to pitch the 8th & 9th innings of games we have the lead in…he features a 3-pitch mix and can command the 4-seam fastball (93 mph), the slider and the curve ball. That’s what makes him special. He is a Newnan guy, so you know he’s thrilled to be with the Braves! We’ll invite Will to come on our show.
Acuna and Albies are two of the best players in baseball! And so athletic! These two make batting practice and infield reps (Ozzie) fun to watch.
Freeman sounds relieved to get the painful elbow behind him. Freddie’s surgery removed 2 bone spurs and 3 fragmented loose bodies. He’s 100% and ready to play all-star caliber baseball, pain-free! Hope to get him on our show, again.
Austin Riley has been kicked around a lot for a guy that hit 33 bombs last season (combined MLB/AAA). The strikeouts did pile up, after that amazing start… maybe he turns out to be the new Adam Dunn. Or maybe he rakes, with a better approach against the slider and the fastball up in the zone. And now we get to see him at 3rd base!
Yeah, this is going to be fun! Hope to report back on all the top golf courses in this area too! Spring training typically allows for an afternoon round!
Join The Buck & Kincade Show (12-3) all next week, as we broadcast from the Braves new training complex!