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Braves 2010 Season in Review: Omar Infante

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Coincidentally enough, the Omar Infante review was set to post today, which happens to be the first day he is not an Atlanta Brave since December 4, 2007 when he and Will Ohman were traded for right-handed reliever Jose Ascanio. In his final season with the Braves he put together the best season of his career. He was controversially selected to the All-Star game as the league's top utility man and almost won himself a batting title. Infante started at every position aside from first base, catcher, pitcher, and center field, providing the team with much needed flexibility as they battled through injuries in the outfield and infield all season.

Due to the trade, the SBN stats widget is not working for Infante, but I'll post his stats here. He batted .321 with a .359 OBP, 8 home runs, 7 steals, 15 doubles, and 3 triples in 506 plate appearances. 

Infante really got going after his selection to the All-Star team. On July 5 the All-Star teams were announced, and after that date Infante hit .331/.373/.444 with seven of his eight home runs. Of course, he got significantly more playing time after that date due to the injuries to Martin Prado and Chipper Jones. Infante was far from a wizard defensively, but playing adequate defense at a number of positions made him one of the most important defenders on the Braves roster.

The biggest slight against Infante last season was his inability to draw a walk. His walk percentage of 5.7% was lower than both Jeff Francoeur's and Juan Pierre's, two players known around the world as free swingers. Most of Infante's success was tied into his BABIP, which sat at .355, which is .042 points higher than his career BABIP of .313. This says that he is likely to suffer a drop down in numbers next season, which is why it is hard to understand why the Marlins valued him so much. 

Infante played so well that he became a centerpiece of a deal for one of the top power hitting second basemen in baseball. He put together a career year and Frank Wren sold him at his peak value. While an extremely useful player on a team with playoff aspirations, Infante was expendable. One can only wonder how high Infante's value would have been, and if he could have netted an even better return, if he actually did win the batting title. It will be sad to see Infante playing against the Braves with the Marlins, but I imagine it will be even sadder for Marlins fans to watch Dan Uggla torture them as he tortured the Braves over the past five seasons.