In this post I will try to construct an optimized lineup by using The Book
The Book says this should be the best on base guy since he gets the most at bats. Who does not need power since the guys behind can drive him. And stolen base speed is not necessary but it is nice to have the speed to score from first on a double. Best fit on the Braves is Tommy LaStella . As long as his OBP holds up in the upper .300s close to .400, he should do great here.
The Book says that this should be the best all-around hitter. Not necessary the best power hitter but a guy who can rope and get on base at a good clip. I can only imagine who fits that bill the best. Let’s go with Freddie Freeman . He has best OBP of qualified players on the team and not quite as much power as Justin but he hits mighty fine for this spot.
The Book says that after filling out the one, two and four spots the next two best hitters need to go in the three and five spots. The Book says the better singles and doubles hitter should go in the five spot and the better home run hitter should go in the three spot. Don’t ask me why because I really don’t know, actually I think it is because he comes to bat with two outs the most often and it’s nice to try and clean the bases and gets runs with two outs. And to try and avoid double plays being hit into since the high OBP guys are in front of him. So using this guideline I am placing all or nothing Evan Gattis in this spot and enjoying him hit bombs with LaStella and Freeman on base.
The Book says this should be the best hitter on the team with good power. Well, that sounds like a spot for a hot Justin Upton . He can be frustrating at times but he fits this spot best on this team with his currently great looking OBP and slugging.
As I said before, after we filled out the one, two and four spots the best hitter who gets singles and doubles goes here. Jason Heyward is the best hitter on the team left to be placed and would perform well here. He would be able to help drive in runs but it would also encourage him to run and try and get as many steals as possible without fear of getting caught with big hitters coming up to bat.
The Book says from here on out you are messing with the worst part of the lineup, obviously. So it wants a speed guy here who can take an extra base and steal a base or two. This way they can score from second when the weak singles hitters at the bottom of the order come up. And you don’t feel too bad since they are not getting caught with a big bat up at the plate. Another reason why Heyward would be nice in the five spot is the similarity to this spot in that regard. So this spot should be the current co team leader in steals BJ Upton .
The Book says put the next best hitter and I am going with Andrelton Simmons here. Hopefully he can continue to improve as a hitter and drive in some runs.
The Book actually recommends batting the pitcher eight so the top of the order has a batter instead of a pitcher in front of it. But it is a pretty negligible overall difference of about two runs a season so let’s put Chris Johnson here because it would suck to be a player batting in the nine hole and get made fun of all the time. Not great for the ego by any means. Plus this lineup needs CJ getting his singles to drive in Heyward and BJ from second after they stole a base.
So what does everyone think of this lineup. Is this bat crap crazy or does it have the looks of a winner. Either way, this is the Braves lineup by The Book.