So Many Options

Well, it looks like the Braves are going to go after one of three players to serve as their power hitting outfielder. They appear to be Rick Ankiel of the St. Louis Cardinals, Corey Hart of the Milwaukee Brewers, or Jeremy Hermida of the Florida Marlins.

Rick AnkielPersonally I like Ankiel or Hermida. To be honest I just don’t like Corey Hart. I don’t know why, but I just don’t. With Ankiel you get a ton of power with an outstanding glove in the outfield. Ankiel may not hit 35 o 40 home runs but he will drive in runs consistently while playing Gold Glove defense. The guy is a human highlight reel. If you are a frequent watcher of “Web Gems” you have seen him gunning down runners from all areas of the field. His arm is just flat out a cannon.

It would be like having two Francoeurs on defense. Which is in no way a bad thing. Jeremy Hermida is a Georgia native who wouldn’t mind playing for the home town team. Hermida was at once compared to Francoeur but doesn’t pack as much punch at the plate. So I don’t think he would be a great choice unless Ankiel wasn’t able to be acquired. I still don’t know why I don’t like Corey Hart, but to be honest I don’t need a reason. I just don’t like him.

Here is a little taste of Mr. Ankiel…

He would only be under contract for one year and he happens to be a Scott Boras client. If you like keeping players around for a long time you don’t want Scott Boras anywhere near your player. But then again, Andruw Jones is a Scott Boras client and he stayed around for a while, maybe Ankiel would too. You just never know.

Corey HartThe only problem with Ankiel besides his choice of representation is he is left handed. Jeremy Hermida is also left handed. This is why I actually think Corey Hart has the advantage at this point. The Braves have left handed bats already. They are looking for a right handed bat to fill the power gap, hence the Jermaine Dye rumors. The Brewers could also try to dump his salary to try and sign C.C. Sabathia.

This being said, the Brewers may take a few decent prospects and maybe some cash in exchange for Hart. Hart also has 3 more arbitration years so Atlanta can keep him around for a while. It may take a little more to get Hart than Ankiel since Ankiel will be a free agent after the 2009 season, but I think it would be worth it. Like I have been saying, the Braves are stacked in the farm system. They can afford to give up a few guys.

Holding tons of guys that most likely won’t even pan out isn’t necessarily the smartest thing to do. To be realistic, I bet 3 out of Atlanta’s top 10 prospects end up being busts. It is just so hard to have a successful career in the MLB. Look at Kyle Davies, Chuck James, Jo-Jo Reyes, Brent Lillibridge, and Scott Thorman. They were all top prospects at once and now look what happened. They are either on another team or are having extreme struggles. You can dump a few prospects to win now. It is ok.

Till next time,



  1. Darion

    I still say Ludwick has the best chance. I have always liked Ankiel, well at least ever since he decided to be an outfielder. Dye’s chances are decreasing everyday and so are Peavy’s of becoming a Braves. Don’t really hear any Ordonez talk either. Hermida would probably strikeout a lot like Dunn, but he’s not nearly as expensive plus he might stay a while so I like his chances. I’ll pass on Hart.
    1. Ludwick
    2. Ankiel
    3. Hermida
    4. Dye
    5. Ibanez
    6. Hart
    based on probability of joining Atlanta.
    If we trade for one one without losing KJ or a top prospect, count me in on one of those.

  2. juliasrants

    I think you have to be very leary these days of any player who is represented by Scott Boras. And I think you hit the nail on the head – teams have to let go of players that can’t be developed. Not everyone will work out and the teams have to do a better job of figuring that out.


  3. Grant McAuley

    Of all those guys, Hermida seems to be the one who will be easiest to acquire. Though I like Ankiel the best overall, I just don’t see a match between the Cards and Braves. There was some discussion of Mike Gonzalez heading up there, but then that puts Atlanta on the market for a closer (though there are a few out there this year as opposed to years past). I’m thinking that the deal Wren makes for an outfielder will be something that may not have been widely reported – something completely out of a leftfield… how appropriate?

  4. thegoodofthegame

    I like Ankiel, a lot. You gotta have respect for a guy who can make it to the bigs as a pitcher, lose his stuff, change positions and make it back to the bigs at an all-star caliber level. He might just be the most talented player in all of sports today.

    That said, I like him in the Braves lineup despite the Scott Boras tumor growing out of his skull. I hate sports agents just as much as you do, but if you avoid Boras clients on principle, you avoid some great players. Try to trade for him now while he’s cheap instead of bidding for him next winter. Let the cards fall where they may.

    Prospects are always a hit or miss. But while you do have your Scott Thormans and your Kyle Davies, you’ve also got your Chipper Jones’, your Jeff Franceours, your Brian McCanns and your John Smoltzs. Isn’t it better to find out for sure than trade him away and have him develop somewhere else?

  5. hardballblog

    Thanks Mark, I actually didn’t read close enough. I thought it was the normal leaders like usual. I guess that isn’t too bad. Thanks for all the support! Scott, yea I really like Ankiel. As for the prospects, I just think that you have to take chances instead of holding onto everyone. Not everyone will pan out. In fact I bet very few actually pan out. It comes down to your scouts and the time they put in along with some luck. I would rather see the team take a chance once in a while and have someone develop somewhere else then hold onto everything, and not really gain much for that current year. Losing players and having them turn into superstars is just part of the game. It comes with the territory. Thanks for stopping by!

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