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Aftermath: Volume 1

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Marcus Giles is no longer a Brave. This will undoubtedly rub a lot of fans the wrong way, and well it should. To lose a star player for purely financial reasons without getting anything in return is a hard pill to swallow. Especially when we really don't know who will fill the void(s) created by his departure - second base and lead-off. To make matters worse we will have to sit on the sidelines and watch as the likely suitors for Giles' services, New York and San Diego, enter into what could be frenzy for the scrappy second baseman. After pulling off a great trade at the Winter Meetings to acquire the needed setup man for our bullpen it seems that while taking that one step forward we have now taken two steps backwards.

But a closed door for one could mean new opportunity for another - that is the promise of baseball, and that is what keeps us coming back to it even after disappointments like this. While the Marcus Giles chapter has ended, we could see the emergence of a new and exciting chapter to be written by Martin Prado, or Kelly Johnson, or Eric Campbell, or someone we haven't even considered yet.

The promise of the youngest member of that potential group of replacements is Eric Campbell. He has starred at every level he's been at, and while he's only slated for hi-A or possibly double-A next year, the Braves have never shied away from promoting someone to the Majors whom they think is ready (Furcal, Andruw, James, McCann, Francoeur). Rob McQuown of Baseball Digest Daily has some interesting comparisons to Campbell:

My Major League Predictions (MLPs) translate each season into an MLB season given "normal growth". Campbell doesn't walk much, but his power translates to a .500+ SLG, and he projects to whiff less than 17% of the time. Rocco Baldelli and Brian McCann had similar translations at his age.

We already have one of those guys and crave the other. It's no secret that the Braves draft and covet players with this similar profile, and being a player of that ilk benefits Campbell tremendously in his ascent to the Majors in the way he's viewed within the organization. With a good spring he could find himself in Atlanta - never underestimate the promotion ability of the players who impress Bobby Cox.