Coming into the 2018 season, the majority of the baseball community only expected the Atlanta Braves to hover around an uninspiring .500 record for most of the year.
This year’s iteration of the Braves isn’t that different from the teams that have taken the field over the past couple of season: young, talented and inexperienced. But this team is finding ways to win games in exciting fashion.
Already this season, fans have seen some of the benefits to having the top farm system in baseball over the past few years.
Dansby Swanson, Ozzie Albies and Sean Newcomb are all beginning to look like the professionals they were hyped to be, and Atlanta’s most exciting prospect, 20-year-old outfielder Ronald Acuña Jr, has already been injected into Rookie of the Year conversations despite having never played a Major League game.
Brian Snitker appears to be taking the next step as the team’s manager after some questions about his ability to manage at this level last year, and his sharpness and attention to detail has trickled down to players in all phases of the game.
Even though it’s been exhilarating to watch this team’s youth and unknown potential dazzle during the season’s first two weeks, it’s going to be equally as painful to watch them grind through a stretch when the growing pains hit.
That’s why it’s important for fans not to get ahead of themselves with this group. I’m not saying fans should have zero expectations for the rest of the season, just that expectations should be tempered.
NBA analyst Jalen Rose always talks about success being measured by attaining realistic goals. For Braves Country, I encourage you all to do the same before setting yourselves up for disappointment by crowning this team World Series champions or wasting another baseball season by totally writing them off.
The Braves probably aren’t going win division like 2005’s Baby Braves. But I’m not discrediting the idea that the team will contend for a Wild Card berth.
Regardless of how the rest of the season plays out, Braves fans should know the light at the end of the tunnel should only get brighter from here, as the team is young, talented, exciting and worth watching.