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Evan Gattis on Track to Be Atlanta Braves’ Opening Day Left Fielder

December 19th, 2012 at 9:18 PM
By Cody Fields

The Atlanta Braves remain cautiously optimistic with the red hot performance of Evan Gattis in Venzuela's winter league, but it almost seems too logical with the current track of things that he'll be the Braves' Opening Day left fielder.

Atlanta has yet to make a legitimate move to acquire a lead-off type hitter that can also play left field. With the current 25-man roster, Martin Prado would float between third base and left field with Juan Francisco and Reed Johnson matching up against righties and lefties, respectively. Prado played pretty much everywhere in 2012 without any problems, but Gattis very well could be their man.

Gattis is simply tearing it up in Venezuela. Through 49 games, he's hit .283 with 14 home runs and a .343 OPS. The 26-year-old hit .305 with 18 bombs last season between three minor league levels.

Obviously, Gattis isn't a lead-off type guy with his catcher's speed, but the Braves could end up shifting Andrelton Simmons to the lead-off spot, hit Prado second and allow Gattis to work his way up from the eight hole. His low strikeout totals and ability to work a count would help him in what some consider the hardest spot to hit from.

Barring a terrible Spring Training or the Braves making a surprise move, look for Gattis to be in left field on Opening Day.

Tags: Atlanta, Atlanta Braves, Evan Gattis, MLB

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