Camargo has bulked up this offseason. He provided only four homers last season as a rookie, and realistically that number won’t skyrocket this season. Fellow third-base option Ruiz has hit four home runs across the past two years (58 games), though Anthopoulos indicated they see potential with his bat.
“You look at it, and you just hope some of the young guys step forward,” manager Brian Snitker said. “That’s a concern. The winter’s not over. We’ve still got a long way to go before opening day. So I think anything can happen, and I know Alex is continually working to help the club get better.”
The Braves are cognizant of what they’ve lost. Anthopoulos knew in Adams he was trading homers for defense. He hadn’t spoken to Kemp until the trade because he was going to move him. He’s aware that catchers Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki’s career years were important. And he credited Phillips for a solid season before he was traded to the Angels.
It remains a strong possibility the team adds help, more likely at third base than the outfield.
“Now, we have potential upside from some of the guys as well, so maybe that’ll balance out,” Anthopoulos said. “But if everyone repeats the same year that’s currently here, we’ve lost those guys. We need to hope for improvement and for guys to maintain – or for guys who didn’t have great years, improve – to make up for that.”
The team will be picky with free agents. It’s spent several years acquiring young talent, and doesn’t want to block its development for immediate gains.
“We like our young guys,” Snitker said. “We have a lot of young guys we want to know more about. Put them out there, let them get innings, at-bats. I think if the right free agent came about, yeah, it might make a difference Realistically, some of our young players, everybody’s excited about them. We’ve been talking about them for how long? Now all of a sudden they show up, and I want to see them go.
“I think we are better. We’re better right now going into it. I think we’re a better club than we were last year.”