Buck Blanz

Turning The Ship Around

By: Buck Blanz

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

It is July 10th, and the Atlanta Braves (43-44) are playing the Miami Marlins (38-50).

Jazz Chisholm Jr. hits a ball into deep right field off Max Fried in the bottom of the 5th inning with Acuna Jr. tracking the ball in right field. Acuna leaps at the right field wall and lands awkwardly resulting in a season ending ACL tear for the Braves perennial MVP candidate.

I think I am speaking for all Braves fans when I say that the Acuna injury seemed to be the moment to write the Braves off for the 2021 season as they were struggling to stay at .500% in a less than thrilling NL East race.

However, Braves General Manager, Alex Anthopoulos, and the rest of the organization thought differently and it’s turning out to be one of the best developing MLB storylines of the season.

Just about the only positive thing about Acuna’s injury for the Braves was the fact it happened before the MLB trade deadline, allowing the Braves to revamp their struggling outfield.

The Braves began their acquisitions by getting Joc Pederson from the Cubs on July 16th and proceeded to add Jorge Soler from the Royals, Eddie Rosario from Cleveland, and retrieved Adam Duvall from the Marlins all on July 30th.

These trades looked good when they were made and are seemingly only appearing to get better as they’ve helped completely turn the Braves struggling season around.

Perhaps the best thing to come out of this was the fact that the Braves were able to make these moves without jeopardizing their future in salary space.

Bringing Adam Duvall back to Atlanta is proving to be one of the best moves of the year, not just at the deadline, as he currently leads the National League in RBIs.

Pederson, Rosario, and Soler have all put together many solid outings as well as making a few clutch plays late in games since arriving in Atlanta.

Not many people thought much of the Braves after the way the first half of the season looked, however, the main point of consistency throughout the season has been the Braves infield.

Freeman, Albies, Swanson, and Riley are each having career years, and each infielder has reached the 25+ home run mark on the season making them the second infield in MLB history to ever accomplish such a feat.

This new Braves outfield has helped this year’s injury riddled team turn the corner, turning a four-game division deficit into a division lead.

I have a feeling that this division title might be a little sweeter than years past and as we all know, anything can happen in the postseason.

High Tide….Again

By: Buck Blanz

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

As we all know The Alabama Crimson Tide come into almost every season as the favorites to win the SEC Championship in early December and this season is no different.

Coming off a perfect National Championship season, The Crimson Tide come into 2021 with many different shoes to fill as Head Coach Nick Saban goes for his seventh national title with The Crimson Tide.

Saban had his work cut out for him this offseason with the number of holes needed to fill after losing many members of one of the most dynamic offenses College Football has ever seen to the draft.

The Crimson Tide lost three of their starting offensive linemen, best running back, two best wide receivers (Arguably in the nation a season ago), starting tight end, starting quarterback, as well as four coaches on the offensive side of the ball.

However, if anyone has the talent within their roster to be able to hide the talent, they lost its Alabama.

Luckily for The Tide, they have former 5-star Quarterback in high school, Bryce Young to lead the offense. He has high standards after Mac Jones’ perfect season last year.

Young is expected to thrive under center in Tuscaloosa, however the offense is likely to be more dynamic considering young’s style of play.

While Bryce Young has high expectations to live up to, returning wide receiver, John Metchie, must follow in the footsteps of one of the greatest receiving duos ever in DeVonta Smith and Jaylen Waddle.

Metchie, however, had an outstanding season last year as well, racking up 917 receiving yards as well as 6 touchdowns. Alongside Metchie, the Crimson Tide have depth at the receiver position once again with guys like Slade Bolden, Javon Baker and Traeshon Holden. Alabama should have no issue throwing the ball downfield.

Najee Harris is just another player that produced great numbers last season for Alabama, continuing the standard of great running through Tuscaloosa. Taking the reins this season will likely be Brian Williams and while he might not run the ball like Harris, Williams has the size and strength to make it to the next level.

On the defensive side of the ball the Tide will be in good hands with many names to look out for. Among those names to watch out for is the returning second-leading tackler in Christian Harris at linebacker. Harris is just the tip of the iceberg in the Crimson Tide’s linebacker core as they are loaded with depth looking to make some noise.

As for the secondary, all but one starter is returning to the field, and they have a bunch of young talent ready to make plays.

Much like the secondary the defensive line is also returning all their starters except for one and the fanbase in Tuscaloosa is hungry for another Quinnen Williams from 2018.

The toughest tests for the Crimson Tide this season will likely consist of the season opener against Miami (on Sept. 4), at Texas A&M (Oct. 6), and as always, the Iron Bowl to close out the year (Nov. 27).

Nick Saban is always striving for perfection, and seems to achieve it frequently, however this season will provide some new tests for some young guys on offense.

I expect the Tide to finish 11-1 as SEC Champions once again earning a spot in the College Football Playoff.

Arming The Ship

By: Buck Blanz

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The McIntosh County Academy Buccaneers went 7-3 a year ago with their season ending in the first round of the playoffs against Clinch County 23-17.

The Buccaneers, after finishing the season with a 1-9 record in 2018, have made two consecutive state playoff appearances as they look to take the next step forward as a program.

What does that next step look like for the Buccaneers? Well, when I spoke to Head Coach Bradley Warren, he emphasized that they need to learn how to win ‘the big game’ as their team goal is “to go from good to great”.

Before Bradley Warren arrived at McIntosh County Academy, the football program seemed to be in disarray and didn’t have much determination and enthusiasm surrounding them.

However, since Coach Bradley Warren arrived at McIntosh County Academy, the football program has definitely seen promising progression from more areas than just one.

To start, Coach Warren has taken them to their first playoff appearances since the 2016 season and hoping to continue improvement. Also, with Warren’s double-slot offensive scheme, as well as how many players play both offense and defense, it allows for many, if not all, of his players to show their dynamic playing-making ability on both sides of the ball.

When I asked Coach Warren about who has impressed him the most throughout this offseason, without hesitation he answered with Austin Crosby.

The 6’1” 185-pound Senior from Darien, GA will be one of the Buccaneers most dynamic players all season long and is certainly a kid to keep tabs on.

Crosby plays quarterback, running back, as well as safety for the Buccaneers giving him many chances to showcase his versatility on the field as a top playmaker.

For the third straight season, the Buccaneers will open their season against two Glynn County powerhouses in (8/20) Glynn County and (8/27) Brunswick High, both of which are also from the much larger 6A GHSA classification and should prove to be their biggest test of the season.

The bright side of playing your toughest games early in the year is you will know what kind of team you have early, however, what is different about this season is how they will have both games played in the comfort of their own home stadium.

The Buccaneers have five of their first six games of the season scheduled to be home games, with their only away game being against Claxton, who finished third place right behind McIntosh County Academy in the region-3 standings a year ago.

McIntosh County Academy faces arguably their toughest test outside of Glynn County on October 15th, the Buccaneers must travel and face-off against the reigning region champs, the Metter High School Tigers, who made it to the final four before losing to Irwin County 44-10.

The Buccaneers will close out their regular season campaign with two road games against Portal, who forfeited a year ago, as well as Jenkins County who the Bucs beat 41-20 last season and should expect largely the same result.

Look out for Coach Bradley Warren and the Buccaneers led by Austin Crosby, as they look to take their program from “good to great”.

Flying Through Playoffs

By: Buck Blanz

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Heading into this series against the Knicks, the Atlanta Hawks knew that they were the more talented team.

The young Hawks squad, led by All-Star Trae Young, never seemed to be bothered by the physical antics that the Knicks brought with them to get any competitive advantage over the Hawks. However, it might’ve been the opposite of what the Knicks wanted because it only seemed to make things worse.

In his first ever playoff series, Trae Young averaged 29.2 ppg and 9.8 apg and shot 44.1% from the floor vs. the Knicks. It’s safe to say he put on a show by making play after play for Atlanta.

For the entire series, New York fans were giving the Hawks all they could handle but they responded from a Game-2 loss in New York with three straight wins to close out the series in dominating fashion.

Strangely enough the Hawks played their worst game statistically in Game-5 and still came out with a 103-89 win. Showing evidence of Nate McMillan’s coaching impact bringing the Hawks, who are known to be a defensive nightmare, to leading the playoffs in scoring defense.

To McMillan credit he has turned the Hawks around from a very disappointing season to being just where they had hoped they would be at the start of the season.

What is probably the most exciting part of this team besides going 33-13 since McMillan became the interim Head Coach, is the fact this is not all Trae Young’s doing, everyone is contributing.

The Hawks bench of Huerter, Williams, and Gallonari are all valuable parts to this team’s success while Williams and Gallonari are a part of the few Hawks with playoff experience.

Also, the additions of Bogdan Bogdanovic and Clint Capela continue to look better and better as this team continues to make its playoff run.

After many years in Houston reaching the Western Conference Finals and being a role player, Capela is finding a home in Atlanta and resembling the Hawks legend Dkembe Mutumbo while doing it.

Capela is currently second in playoff blocks and third in playoff rebounding, continuously proving that he is a difference maker while on the floor.

As for Bogdanovic, he currently has the fifth highest plus/minus of anyone in the playoffs at +78 while giving Atlanta another dependable offensive talent. Bogdanovic’s impact goes further than numbers due to his defensive ability as he showed throughout the first round.

After clinching their spot in the eastern conference semifinals, the Hawks will try and continue to do damage to their opponents but this is no easy feat.

Through the three regular season meetings between these two clubs the Sixers won two of them and when you look at these teams on paper there might be a clear favorite.

However, over the last few months the Hawks have shown they’re nothing to mess with either while both the Hawks and the 76ers have posted a 31-12 record since March 1st.

Even with Philly potentially missing their MVP candidate in Joel Embiid I’m sure most people will write the Hawks off, but after what I just witnessed, I’d say the Hawks will give the 76ers fits.

Raising The Level

By: Buck Blanz

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

As a fan of the NBA, I often get caught in conversation about how NBA Coaches are much less valuable than the infamous coaches of college basketball.

However, unlike college, the NBA coaches also have to fit into the culture of a ballclub just as much as their players do because they are the messengers between players in the locker room and executives.

Therefore, anyone still doubting the significance of NBA coaches should take a look at what Nate McMillan has done in Atlanta since taking over for Lloyd Pierce earlier this season.

Since Nate McMillan took over as Interim head coach for Atlanta, the Hawks are 25-11 and currently sitting with the fifth seed in the Eastern conference; clinching their first playoff berth since the 2016-2017 season.

Usually when teams turn things around midway through the season it is because they were aggressive in trades before the deadline. However, Atlanta has largely had the same roster since the beginning of the season with the exception of trading Rajon Rondo for Sixth Man Lou Williams. Clearly, allowing the numbers show that McMillan has turned this Hawks organization around and it seems to have the future looking bright for the next few seasons.

McMillan is not new to this; he has been coaching in the NBA since 1998 when he was with the Seattle SuperSonics and later became the Head Coach of the organization in 2000.

Since then, McMillan has since been named Head Coach for the Portland Trailblazers as well as the Indiana Pacers before becoming the interim Head Coach for Atlanta following Pierce’s departure.

McMillan’s most recent stint prior to Atlanta was with the Indiana Pacers, where he spent the past four seasons and had agreed to a two-year extension before getting fired after getting swept by the Miami Heat in the opening round of the playoffs a season ago.

The decision to fire McMillan came after being swept in three of the four playoff appearances and never being able to get to the second round during his time in Indiana.

However, McMillan ended his tenure with the Pacers with a 183-186 overall record involving many devastating injuries, like their All-Star Victor Oladipo.

Before McMillan became Interim Head Coach, the Hawks never seemed to have an organized offense and were just out there to have fun, often resulting in losing late in games and/or losing to teams that they should beat.

Since McMillan was given the promotion, the Hawks have seemingly been much better being consistent in late game situations as well as winning the winnable games that are needed to reach the playoffs.

Also, McMillan has done an outstanding job being able to coach around significant injuries to players with a big role by finding dependable production of Atlanta’s bench.

Throughout McMillan’s coaching career and into this season with the Hawks he has shown that he is able to win with just about any five guys on the floor proves that he should be in the Coach of the year race this season.

I know he has only been with the organization for a few months but the turn around the Hawks have seen since being 14-20 has been astonishing.

Even if McMillan isn’t a part of the discussion the least the Hawks organization could do is to hire him as Head Coach for the next few seasons and keep heading down this path he has forged for the young Hawks squad.

Beaten Up

By: Buck Blanz

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Coming into the season Braves fans were excited about the success that Braves Baseball has seen throughout the past few seasons and hope to continue.

Just last October, the Braves lost in a heartbreaking NLCS Game-7 against the Dodgers.

Since then, the Braves Ball-Club and its fans have had one thing on their mind, ‘get back to the NLCS (if not the World Series)’.

As most of us know by now, the Braves are one of the best teams in the National League, but the NL East is nothing to mess with this season.

Coming off of three Division Titles in a row, the fourth is shaping up to be the hardest one yet for Manager Brian Snitker and company.

Throughout the offseason, Braves fans around the country were excited to see the ball club take the field after their deepest postseason run since 2001. However, things haven’t gone according to plan for the Braves so far this season.

The Braves are around .500. Not exactly where experts expected them to be at this point either, thus sending Braves Country into panic mode, with fans beginning to blame anyone who looks the part.

Therefore, each series against a divisional opponent will only get more and more important for the Atlanta Braves as we get deeper into the season.

However, as a fellow Braves fan, I wouldn’t push the panic button just yet, for these three reasons:

Injuries: Already this season, the Braves have seen more than their fair share listed on the Injured List. The IL currently sits with 9 players that the Braves consider major contributors to the three-time division champion.

Fortunately, none of these injuries have been season-threatening so the Braves lineup should be back together in no-time.

Ronald Acuná Jr.: We’re early into this MLB season and Ronald Acuna Jr. is putting together MVP number early on.

He’s hitting over .400 and his OPS is over 1.000 along with a ton of homeruns, which all lead the league in its category while also being tied for second in RBI’s.

Since Acuna came into the MLB, he has been a spark-plug for the Braves by continuously driving in runs and making outstanding plays in right field.

Unfortunately for the Braves, they will need more than just Acuna to be able to produce runs in order to get back to the top of the division.

Pitching Bullpen: The injuries for Atlanta’s pitchers so far this season have been difficult to overcome for Atlanta’s ball club.

Injuries to three of their best pitchers in their rotation definitely hurts depth throughout the entire bullpen.

Unfortunately, that’s where the Braves are. Although the Braves came away with a 3-2 record over their most recent road-trip, they have exposed their bullpen depth early and often.

The conversation surrounding Atlanta’s bullpen coming into the season appeared to be one to have the Braves Bullpen as one of their biggest assets.

However, If the rotation continues to be shaky throughout the season. Don’t be surprised if General Manager Alex Anthopoulos makes some moves to keep the Braves in contention for the NLCS/World Series.

A large part of the early season mishaps for the Braves have been due to injury, but only time will tell if the injuries continue to be a theme throughout the entire MLB season.

Hawks Anchor

By: Buck Blanz

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

A year ago, the Atlanta Hawks were sitting in the 14th spot out of the 15 teams in the Eastern Conference, assuring themselves a lottery selection in the upcoming draft.

Even after making the sixth pick in last year’s draft, the trade the Hawks made prior to the trade deadline a season ago continues to prove to be a win for the future of the Hawks Franchise.

On February 5th, 2020, The Hawks acquired Clint Capela from the Houston Rockets in a four-team deal where Atlanta contributed a first round 2020 pick and second round pick in 2024 while also sending Evan Turner to Minnesota.

A full 14 months later this trade continues to look better and better for the Hawks with Capela’s consistent performances this season.

Capela has been an enormous part of the Hawks comeback season that began after the All-Star break, as well as after firing former head-coach Lloyd Pierce.

Those high-pressure decisions seemed to give the Hawks a much-needed breath of fresh air and are now finding themselves in the top half of the Eastern Conference.

With a little over a month left in the NBA season it isn’t crazy to think Clint Capela could be a serious Defensive Player of the Year candidate this season.

This season Clint Capela is averaging just over 15 PPG, as well as a career-best in rebounds (14.2 RPG) and Blocks (2.2 BPG).

When Atlanta decided to trade for Capela last February they only wished he would come with as much upside as he has.

Capela has been the defensive anchor in the middle of the paint and one of the best rim protectors throughout the entire NBA.

Playing Center in the NBA today is much more challenging for the centers of Clint Capela’s size and much more favorable for the undersized big men like Bam Adebayo and Draymond Green.

With the floor spread it makes centers, like Clint Capela, come out and guard on the perimeter, making them have to handle a high pick and roll action or maybe rotating out to the shooter open in the corner.

Throughout this season Clint Capela has been the difference-maker on the floor for the Hawks.

His ability to protect the rim allows the guards for Atlanta to guard the ball with intense pressure. Capela is currently leading the league in rebounds and third in blocks, hopefully his numbers begin to catch some eyes as Capela is posting numbers similar to the two-time DPOY in Rudy Gobert.

In January, Clint and the Hawks played against the Timberwolves and he was able to get a rare triple-double with 10-blocks in one game, the only issue is the Hawks defensive ability drastically decreases when he takes a seat.

In recent years, it has only been Trae Young’s offense that sold tickets to State Farm Arena, now the Hawks are beginning to look like a complete team again for the first time since 2017.

If Clint Capela is able to continue to post numbers like these, it won’t be long before Atlanta sees their first Defensive Player of the Year award winner since Dikembe Mutumbo went back-to-back in 96-97 and 97-98.

My only question is why aren’t people talking about this more?

Red Terrors’ Devlin

By: Buck Blanz

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The last few years the Glynn Academy Terrors have had successful seasons, but often ending just short of their goals in the GHSA Playoffs.

Rocky Hidalgo and his staff are hoping to continue the regular season success and make a deep playoff push. They will put their best foot forward heading into the 2021 season with a new name under center.

A season ago the Terrors were able to win a share of the region championship and are only looking to build on that success with rising Junior, Tyler Devlin at the helm of the Glynn Academy offense.

Rocky Hidalgo and his coaching staff are looking forward to seeing how exactly Tyler’s game can help propel the Terrors into a state title contender.

Devlin began his high school career at the GISA-AAA School, Frederica Academy, starting as a freshman before deciding to transfer out and attend the much larger Glynn Academy.

Devlin said “he just felt like it was the right time” when asked why he decided to transfer and has done considerably well with all of the different hats he’s had to wear since arriving last fall.

Outside of his baseball season, which he is currently in the middle of, Devlin played JV for Glynn Academy a season ago while also being the backup for the Terrors Varsity team at Quarterback.

Devlin split time with the JV and Varsity team, which had to be difficult while learning a new system but he never shied away from doing what was asked.

Devlin played both safety and wide receiver for the Terrors, while also learning a brand new playbook, further demonstrating to his teammates and coaches that no task is too big for the talented young athlete.

In just a few months, Devlin has created an outstanding reputation within his coaching staff labeling him as a ‘competitor’, as well as gaining the trust of each one of his teammates. This has earned him the opportunity to lead the Terrors out onto the field on Friday nights.

Hidalgo said “he reminds me a lot of Randon Jernigan with how he carries himself and is able to make his teammates around him better”.

Once again demonstrating Devlin’s will to win, but in the right way. Hidalgo also mentioned that while Tyler is not the most outspoken player, he is highly respected due to the fact that when he speaks his teammates listen.

With such high praise from his head coach, Tyler is hoping to make waves throughout the State with his innate leadership skills and how he demands the best from his teammates every day in practice.

In previous years under coach Hidalgo the Terrors have been known for their offensive attack through the speed option, but look for Glynn Academy to have a few new tricks up their sleeves in the upcoming season.

With an elusive man behind center like Devlin, who likes to think of himself as a Johnny Manziel-Esque’ style quarterback, it allows the play calling to be much more creative.

Fortunately for Tyler. these plays will allow him to get outside the pocket often and showcase his skills with his speed and elusive nature.

Although Devlin is a young quarterback, he has a considerable amount of experience in big games. From starting as a freshman at Frederica Academy to seeing some action late last season in the playoffs, Devlin is looking to put his best foot forward heading into his junior season.

Devlin and his coaches have already begun working on his footwork as well as taking the time to sit down and dissect some film to help slow the game down for a talented young man like Tyler.

After the Terrors finished 8-4 a season ago and lost to Langston Hughes in the second round of the Playoffs, Tyler Devlin still has a bad taste in his mouth and has his sights set on something much bigger for next season.

On The Block

By: Buck Blanz

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

To begin the Month of March, the Atlanta Hawks were sitting at a 14-20 overall record. That record would’ve left them out of the playoffs for the fourth straight season if the season ended at the All-Star break.

Atlanta had one of the most aggressive free agencies of the offseason throughout the NBA, by signing guys like Dalino Gallanari and Bogdan Bogdanovic. However, the Hawks have not seen all that much improvement from a statistical standpoint.

Atlanta Hawks General Manager Travis Schlenk has made it clear to the fans that the organization is craving a playoff push throughout the second half of the season.

Beginning with the firing of former Head Coach Lloyd Pierce, who had a record of 63-120 during his tenure in Atlanta.

The Hawks have now appointed an established coach throughout the league in Nate McMillan, who led the injury riddled Pacers to playoff appearances each of the past two seasons without their star players.

Since the Hawks have named McMillan the interim Head Coach of the Basketball club, he has posted a 6-0 record giving Atlanta their longest win streak since the 2016-17 season as well as catapulting them into the seventh spot in the East.

With the trade deadline quickly approaching, (March 25th at 3:00 ET) look for Atlanta to continue to be aggressive with trades as they try to solidify a much-needed playoff appearance for the organization.

The biggest name that has been floating around the rumor mill from Atlanta is the fourth year forward, John Collins out of Wake Forest.

This upcoming offseason Collins will be a restricted free agent due to the fact Collins rejected the $90 million contract extension from the Hawks last offseason.

However, by not signing that extension with the Hawks, Collins has put himself in a great position for a much larger contract opportunity this upcoming offseason with his production of the floor this season.

NBA experts currently have Minnesota and Boston as the frontrunners to land Collins, but the Hawks are hungry for more talent in return that will help them win now.

As much as the Hawks executives would love to be able to flip John Collins’ contract into more young talent, the $4.1 million contract that Collins currently has doesn’t make a lot of options for the Hawks to add another established player to their roster.

Also, I think it’s safe to say that Atlanta would not match offers exceeding $100 million for Collins this offseason with the pool of talented bigs they already have.

Another name that could be added to the trading block for Atlanta would be the young shooting guard, Kevin Huerter. Huerter is a proven shooter, while also a defensive liability for the Hawks. In today’s NBA there are a number of guys who can fill that role.

The Hawks, who are currently 10th in the league in offensive efficiency and 22nd in defensive, would like to be inside the top 15 in both of those areas to put themselves in the best position moving forward.

However, Kris Dunn who has yet to see action this season as well as Deandre Hunter returning from injury by the beginning of April, Atlanta will regain their defensive anchors on that end of the floor.

Although there is no clear picture of how the hawks will attack the trade deadline, it is sure to be an entertaining week as they will explore each and every option possible.

Fountain Of Youth

By: Buck Blanz

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

After three straight NL East Titles, The Atlanta Braves are looking to make it a fourth as long as they can keep a healthy lineup heading into the 2021 season.

A season ago the Braves were just one game away from a trip to the World Series and showing the world of baseball how good this young Atlanta team is, but Mookie Betts and company stood in the way.

Atlanta’s Bullpen fizzled out late in the NLCS against the Dodgers and ultimately turned out to be the breaking point for the Braves.

However, Atlanta was unable to showcase all of their talent last season due to injury. Mike Soroka was an All-Star for the Braves in the 2019 season going 13-4 with a 2.68 ERA, before tearing his achilles tendon just three starts into the 2020 season.

In the absence of Soroka, the Atlanta bullpen leaned on Max Fried, who had a record of 7-0 and a 2.25 ERA last season.

Alongside Fried was the Braves pitching standout throughout the playoffs and into October, Ian Anderson.

Anderson played great in his rookie season and even better throughout his first playoff appearances. Anderson won all three Game 2’s against the Reds, Marlins, and Dodgers before coming up short in Game 7 against the Dodgers.

Hoping these three starters stay healthy for Atlanta, the Braves returning pitchers are a force to be reckoned with.

Atlanta went out and signed Charlie Morton to add to the rotation. Morton is back where his MLB Career began 12 years ago. Morton signed a one-year deal with the Braves to add yet another strong arm to an already loaded starting staff. \

Much like Ian Anderson, the Braves had another young star show flashes of great potential throughout the NLCS against the Dodgers. Christian Pache did much more than what he needed to do when he was thrown onto the field in the NLCS after an Adam Duvall injury.

Since then, the 21-year-old hasn’t flinched and is drawing comparisons from teammates to Braves great, Andruw Jones.

Over this three to four year stint of Braves NL East titles it seems that they have a never ending pool of youth to pull from. It seems like yesterday that Ronald Acuna Jr. and Ozzie Albies had taken the Braves fan base by storm.

Yet, here we are again with another great addition to the team so early in his career. Not to mention, Atlanta is also returning the 2020 NL MVP in first baseman Freddie Freeman, who has been nothing but great for the Braves since he arrived in 2009.

As they should, Braves executives have awarded their Manager Brian Snitker to a contract through the 2023 season for his success since 2016.

Snitker knows the Braves organization inside and out, from the minors to the majors, being around for 45 years gives you that privilege.

However, still on Snitker’s agenda is to bring a World Series trophy back to Atlanta for the first time since 1995.