Barring injuries or other unexpected developments, the Braves plan to start Freddie Freeman at first base and Nick Markakis in right field for almost every game in 2016 and have newcomer Ender Inciarte as the primary center fielder — at least until prospect Mallex Smith is ready, at which point they could possibly share the duties.
But what of the other five non-pitching positions? In a pivotal year of the Braves’ rebuilding project, this figures to be an interesting season watching things unfold at these five positions.
Braves beat writer David O'Brien looks at catcher, second base, shortstop, third base and left field in his preview of spring training, which begins when pitchers and catcher report Feb. 19.
In the preview, he assesses:
• The competitors at each position.
• How the competition may play out.
• Which newcomers have a chance to crack the lineup.
Other Braves articles of interest:
Pitching prospects to compete for spots in starting rotation.
The Braves offer propose a solution to Hank Aaron statue issue.
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Credit: Ben Hendren for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution