Ever since Atlanta's acquisition of Justin Upton, the entire baseball world has been abuzz over the Braves' young, athletic outfield. Many national writers have bandied around the idea that a second Upton gives Atlanta the best outfield in the majors. But who else could possibly challenge the Braves for that title? We'll start by looking at 4 other suitors for the title of "Baseball's Best Outfield" followed by various offensive and defensive statistics that can help shed light on who actually has baseball's best outfield going in to the 2013 season.
The Atlanta Braves - By now we're all quite familiar with the Braves' 2013 outfield, and it should be a force this year and for years down the road. With Justin Upton in left, B.J. Upton manning center, and Jason Heyward holding down right for his fourth year in a row, the Braves bring youth (Justin is 25, B.J. is 28, and Heyward is 23), speed, excellent defense, and prodigious power to all three outfield spots. And while B.J.'s ceiling is probably not too much higher than he's already shown, Justin and Jason both have MVP-caliber upside, so the sky's really the limit for the Atlanta trio.
The Los Angeles Angels - The Angels' outfield shows less balance than the Braves', but is anchored by two of baseball's biggest stars. Mike Trout, arguably baseball's most valuable player from 2012 (or easily the MVP, depending on your view of WAR) returns, and the Angels have signed slugger Josh Hamilton to play alongside him. Hamilton obviously represents a significant risk for the Angels with his history of injuries, off-the-field problems, and prolonged slumps, but when healthy he is one of the game's best power hitters (He led all outfielders in home runs last year with 43). Rounding out the Angels' outfield is speedster Peter Bourjos. Bourjos is easily one of the best defensive outfielders in baseball, but has been mostly inconsistent with the bat during his 3 year career. Though he probably won't hit a lick, Bourjos's defense will be top-notch - and it will need to be playing next to Hamilton, who is a noted butcher in the field. As of now, the consensus opinion is that Trout will move to left to allow the speedy Bourjos to play center.
Do The Braves Have The Best Outfield?
Talking Chop | Feb 7