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Nov 5, 2016; Surprise, AZ, USA; East pitcher Evan Phillips of the Atlanta Braves during the Arizona Fall League Fall Stars game at Surprise Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Braves Begin Spring Training

The Atlanta Braves are in the midst of getting ready for the upcoming MLB season, with players already reporting to Spring Training. The coaching staff for the Braves is excited to see how their young prospects will perform in the upcoming season. Atlanta finished fifth in the National League East last season, with a record of 68-93. Despite their poor record, the Braves do have reason for hope in the upcoming season.

The End of Last Season

The Atlanta Braves ended their 2016 season on a positive note. Atlanta lost only twice in their last 14 games, and they’ll hope to build off of that momentum heading into spring training. One of their young players to keep an eye on is Dansby Swanson. Swanson had an on-base percentage of .361, 17 RBI and three home runs last season. He also finished with a .302 batting average.

All of this was accomplished in only 38 games with the Braves. This is because he started the season in Double-A before jumping to the majors. Since he joined the majors so late in the season, he is eligible to retain his rookie status for the upcoming season. Meaning, many are already labeling Swanson as one of the favorites for this year’s National League Rookie of the Year award. It’ll certainly be difficult for Swanson to live up to such high expectations, as a rookie no less, but Swanson certainly seems talented enough to meet them.

The Braves don’t just have all of their hope resting on the shoulders of the rookie Swanson, however. The team recently acquired Brandon Phillips from the Cincinnati Reds in a trade for LHP Andrew McKirahan and RHP Carlos Portuondo. He has the second-most hits as a second baseman since 2006 with 1,774. He only trails Robinson Cano, who has a total of 2,055 hits in that span. Phillips finished last season with a .291 batting average which is significantly above his career average of .275. He also hit 11 home runs, had 64 RBI and ended with an on-base percentage of .320.

Training Camp

The Braves’ first Spring Training game will be on February 25 against the Blue Jays.

Atlanta General Manager Brian Snitker says he’s confident in the team and how they ended last season, and expects positions to be competitive during spring.

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