Less that 24 hours after the Houston Astros won the World Series, ESPN released its Way Too Early MLB power rankings on Thursday. The Braves were ranked No. 23, ahead of only the Philadelphia Phillies in the N.L. East.
After a 72-90 record, ESPN’s David Schoenfield wrote that even though the Braves had a new stadium last season and officials tried to convince fans they were a sleeper playoff contender, they weren’t. And they won’t be in 2018.
“Freddie Freeman is a legit superstar, Ender Inciarte is underrated, and Ozzie Albies looks like a future stud, but they're still stuck with Matt Kemp and Nick Markakis (combined WAR of minus-0.6), and Dansby Swanson has to rebuild his value after a miserable season,” Schoenfield wrote. “The biggest issue, however, is that they're still waiting on all these young pitchers. Mike Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb and Luiz Gohara could put it all together, but it still seems like the Braves are a couple years away.”