The Atlanta Braves' projected 3rd baseman of the future no longer has third base in his future. That's because, according to ESPN's Buster Olney, the Braves have decided that Olivera will be moving to the outfield on a permanent basis. This move makes the trade that brought Olivera to Atlanta seem a little bit more suspect, and if I'm being honest, it's a real head-scratcher of a move. Olivera was supposed to fill the massive hole at third base, and now, it appears that that hole is wide open again.
With that being said, there's hope that that hole could potentially be filled in the future by prospect Rio Ruiz. Although the former Houston Astros farmhand had a bit of a rough 2015 season, he's still a highly-rated prospect in the Braves' system. Although it'd be a pretty huge longshot to see Rio Ruiz in the big leagues in 2016, you should definitely be on the lookout to see him rise up the the Braves' farm ranks.
After Ruiz’s disappointing 2015 season, he fell one spot in MLB.com’s prospect rankings, falling from seventh to eighth. Despite the fall, he ranks as the Atlanta Braves’ second-best hitter, behind Ozhaino Albies and ahead of Braxton Davidson. The Braves expect great things out of their future third baseman, so hopefully he finds his stroke in 2016. It is unclear where Rio Ruiz starts the 2016 season, with Double-A Mississippi a likely possibility. If Ruiz hits the ground running in 2016, a quick promotion to Triple-A Gwinnett looks like a strong possibility.
Johan Camargo and Daniel Winkler were in action for the Peoria Javelinas during yesterday's Arizona Fall League action. Although the Javelinas absolutely destroyed their opposition, Camargo and Winkler made small contributions to the beatdown. Camargo went 1-5 and scored two runs, while Winkler pitched two innings, gave up only one hit, and struck out two.
Meanwhile, Braves minor league pitcher Steve Borkowski was one of three minor leaguers across baseball who caught a suspension for performance-enhancing drug usage. The 22-year old righty will sit out 68 games without pay, which is actually the equivalent of a full season of short-season rookie league.
Our friends over at MLB Daily Dish have identified their picks for who could potentially be the biggest free agent busts for the 2016 season. Names like Justin Morneau, Jimmy Rollins, and even Yoenis Cespedes have shown up on Mike Bates' list. What's interesting is that third base is listed as N/A, since Bates described the 3rd Base free agent market as being "reliable." Could the Braves use their financial flexibility to enter that market since they're now apparently in the market for a third baseman?