By: Nick Wells
José Bautista has reported to the Atlanta Braves’ Spring Training facility after signing a one-year minor league deal with the team. The bat-flipping bomb hitter will look to provide some power to the organization while making a defensive move to third base. Bautista made a few appearances at the hot corner last year, but it was his first experience at third since the 2013 season. On the offensive side, Mr. Bats has hit 20+ dingers in each of the last 8 seasons, which despite the delayed start in his season, would be exciting to see him try to continue this streak in Gwinnett with the Stripers. While there is a lot of questions about how much Bautista can contribute as he continues to age, he would also be a useful veteran addition to a powerful, young farm system that could benefit from bat-flipping workshops and classes on how to get under the opposing team’s skin. I’m excited to see how this experiment works out, and hopefully it pans out better than signing Ryan Howard to a minor league deal last year that lasted roughly a month. If Bautista can show he has what it takes to get called up to the majors again, we’ll see if it’s not completely awkward after last year’s bench clearer following a signature Bautista bat flip that only cut the Braves lead to 4 runs.
All stats courtesy of baseball-reference.com
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