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Ozzie Albies (ATL): 4-6, 2B, HR, 2 R, 4 RBI, SB.
Hey, check it out, the Braves did something on offense to beat the Nationals a lot to a little. It’s not just my Thursday articles, the batter’s box gang has been writing a lot about the Braves all year, and having Ozzie Albies be the second to last Thursday stud, feels right.
Heading into the 2023 season, I thought about adding Albies to my second base bust for 2023. I’m glad I didn’t or else I’d be taking another pretty substantial L on this article. I didn’t add him because of the Braves lineup, I swear. Heading into the year and thinking about possible busts, he came to mind, but he was left out since he bats 2nd in the most potent lineup in baseball.
Thursday the Braves did everything they could to intimidate and scare the Washington Nationals, beating them 10-3. I say this because I feel as if the Nationals are about a year away from being pretty good, and the Braves wanted to come into this series to remind them who is the top dog in the division.
Albies was the main source of all things nasty against the Nationals, supplying power and speed, and, for good measure, 2 runs and 4 RBIs.
We know the Braves. We know the players on the Braves, and we know the players on the Braves are all very good. Albies, to me, is the glue of this whole thing in Atlanta, while also being a primary source of production. Acuña (1-6, 3B, R, SB), Olson (2-6, HR, 2 R, RBI), Riley (3-5, 2B, R, RBI), and even Michael Harris Jr. (3-5, 2 2B, 2 R, RBI) all have to be mentioned tonight as well, however, Albies might be the most underrated of them all.
The Braves are the clear favorite for a ring this year. Albies is healthy, their whole team is healthy, so beating them is going to be very difficult.
Let’s see how the other hitters did Thursday
Nick Castellanos (PHI): 2-3, HR, R, 4 RBI.
What a bounce-back year it has been for Castellanos. Scooby-Doo is on his side and potentially giving him some of his superpowers because he’s been one of the better players in the NL. The Phillies were able to knock down the Mets with a 5-4 victory and Casty drove in 4 of those runs. Since we are near the end of the season and in the playoffs for many, let’s talk about next year for all of these players. Casty is someone I see targeting a bit later in drafts, but could be a steal depending on where he lies. This year, I’m sure wherever he was drafted, and if he is on your team, the price was low. The price is going to go up a bit, but keep an eye on him come 2024 draft day, he may fall to later rounds.
Jeff McNeil (NYM): 3-4, 2B, 3B, 2 R, RBI, SB.
Speaking of the later rounds, Jeff McNeil didn’t put up the numbers we are used to in his 2023 season. He’s clearly having a tough go of it because when you Google his name, it’s a picture of disappointment, not happiness, that shows. That’s actually something easily noticed. The good players who are performing well, have great pictures when Googling their names. The players who are bad or having a bad season, look like they wouldn’t be able to finish their next meal. McNeil will turn 32 in April of next year, so he isn’t getting any younger. The 5 WAR season of 2022 is behind us, but he’s another player to monitor heading into next year. I don’t have a ton of confidence but there is a possibility he is a very low-risk, high-reward player for 2024.
Jo Adell (LAA): 2-3, HR, 2 R, 2 RBI, BB.
Do we all remember Jo Adell? Raise your hand if Jo Adell personally affected your dynasty league for worse. This didn’t happen to me but shoutout to my friend Matt P in Canada who held him far too long.
Adell helped the Angels get close against the Rays but ultimately lost due to a Manuel Margot walkoff hit. He’s an enigma wrapped in a riddle, wrapped in a late-night deli-style sandwich; we know the talent is there, but depending on what time of day it is, that sandwich may go down a little painful. But when it doesn’t, it hits a home run, a single, and adds a walk. For 2024, Adell is impossible to rank. As always keep an eye, and if the power numbers are coming through, snag him.
Dansby Swanson (CHC): 2-5, HR, R, 3 RBI.
Swanson has a 4.5 WAR on the season. I think many, including myself, have labeled Swansons 2023 a disappointing year, but with that WAR, it shows that he is benefiting the club, and not caring much about fantasy baseball. Which is good, if I were a baseball player I’d drive myself crazy thinking about fantasy baseball. Swanson drove in 3 on Thursday against the Pirates. He had a bad first year with a new team, shocking. And again, that WAR says his first year with the Cubs really wasn’t bad. If anyone is trying to move him, listen to everything. I have a feeling Swanson is a legit fantasy player next year. Just gotta trust him.
Victor Caratini (MIL): 2-4, HR, R, 3 RBI.
Caratini hit a 3-run home run against the STL Thursday. Now that Wainwright has his 200th victory, and his much hyped concert is coming up, the Cardinals look like they don’t have much to play for. Caratini took advantage of this. Caratini could provide some production in a 2 catcher league, but right now, he doesn’t bring much to the table.
J.D. Martinez (LAD): 2-3, HR, R, 3 RBI.
The ageless wonder J.D. Martinez. Heading into 2023 I was so incredibly skeptical of him. It really does warm my heart to see him alive and producing in a big way. Martinez hit a solo shot and since coming over to the Dodgers, his counting stats have been ridiculous. He does not have a contract lined up for next year. The Dodgers in 2023 have been able to sprinkle some voodoo magic on Martinez and his teammate Jason Heyward. Not being a fan of the team, there is still a respect level for them as an organization because of how they are able to continuously turn players around. I wouldn’t be shocked to see Martinez in the Dodgers blue again next year.
Not sure many have noticed but the Pirates have been playing some pretty solid baseball recently getting contributions on offense up and down their roster.
To start, I thought Andujar was the next big 3rd basemen in baseball after his 2018 tour. I have been eating my words on that for a few years now because he’s essentially been nothing since then. Injuries didn’t help but he’s also been unable to find his power stroke that we saw in 2018.
As for both on Thursday, they put up great games and were hitting the ball hard. I really needed a Bednar save in my Championship dynast match-up, but that’s okay, that Pirates offense is just so known to be deadly am I right?
Both are players I have my eye on for 2024 drafts mainly because they are going to cost nothing. Suwinski at the start of the year was looking like a breakout stud but hasn’t been consistent enough to sustain it. And Andujar, because he has that 2018 in his back pocket, you just never know. Don’t make these guys must draft players for 2024, I’m just saying, keep a tab on both, especially Suwinski.