The Braves aren’t taking any veteran position players to Friday’s Grapefruit League opener against the Mets, but fans in Port St. Lucie will have a chance to see some of the team’s top prospects, including two potential power hitters for the not-too-distant future.
Third baseman Austin Riley and catcher Alex Jackson, two of three prospects that the Braves believe could supply big power in the coming years, will make the trip.
Outfielder Ronald Acuna, the other of that power-hitting trio and the No. 1 prospect in baseball, isn’t scheduled to make the trip, which is the first of three consecutive road games involving long bus rides to start the Braves’ spring-training schedule.
Second baseman Ozzie Albies, shortstop Dansby Swanson and third basemen Johan Camargo and Rio Ruiz are on the travel roster for Friday’s game, with Ruiz scheduled to play first base. Outfielder Lane Adams and outfield prospects Cristian Pache and Dustin Peterson also are set to make the opening trip.
Braves manager Brian Snitker is expected to announce his pitching plans later Wednesday for the first three games of the Grapefruit League schedule. Starting-pitcher prospect Kolby Allard, reliever Sam Freeman and bullpen candidates Jesse Biddle, Anyelo Gomez, Adams McCreery, Chase Whitley and Rex Brothers are among those on Friday’s travel roster.
The Braves play two weekend games at West Palm Beach, on Saturday against the Astros and Sunday against the Nationals, with none of the veteran position players set to make any of those trips. The Astros and Nationals share a training site at the Ballpark of the Palm Beaches, where both games will be played.
The Braves will bus back and forth about 2-1/2 hours each way to Port St. Lucie on Friday, but will spend the night in West Palm Beach on Saturday.
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