Twice in the past the Braves have given Tyler Pastornicky an opportunity to be an every day player with the big league club. Once as a shortstop and once last season at second base. The former ended as Andrelton Simmons was ready to join the major league team and Pastornicky was struggling mightily both offensively and defensively. The latter ended with Pastornicky tearing his ACL.
Whether right or wrong, Pastornicky will be the starting second baseman for at least a short while. Before the season, in the ZiPS projection system, Pastornicky's most comparable player was listed as Martin Prado. That is certainly high praise, and while we should not quite expect Pastornicky to turn into our once great utility man, it is worth noting that ZiPS saw the two as comparable.
Going back to ZiPS, it projects Pastornicky to hit .260/.305/.356 with league average defense. That would put Pastornicky at a 84 wRC+, which is not great but is serviceable. Currently, the average wRC+ for second basemen is 90. We are basically signing up for a guy who is slightly under league average altogether as a second baseman, which is a big upgrade from what they have gotten so far.
Defensively, Pastornicky always profiled more as a second baseman rather than a shortstop. His range is not other worldy, but he is athletic enough to handle the position. He should be an upgrade over Dan Uggla but a downgrade from Pena.
Ramiro Pena will still get some starts here and there at second base while also filling in across the diamond, but for now expect to see Pastornicky manning second on a regular basis.