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Atlanta Braves news and links: Kolby Allard's getting people excited

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While the Braves current outlook might be a tad big bleak (although 2016 should be a sight better than 2015), the future has people jumping for joy, and Kolby Allard is one of the main reasons why.

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BRAVES NEWS

Braves have reason to be excited with Kolby Allard

Our friends over at Minor League Ball recently took a look at the Braves' most recent first round draft pick, Kolby Allard. Let's just say that they're pretty excited about what the Braves have in the 18-year old lefty. They think that Allard has the chance to have a pretty big 2016 season on the farm for the Braves, and is definitely going to be one of the more exciting prospects to follow in baseball. I'd say that's a pretty ringing endorsement!

The sample size was so small you needed a microscope to see it, but once Allard put on a Braves uniform the future instantly became exciting. He was the last draftee to sign for the Braves — giving them a quick scare that he may fulfill his commitment to UCLA — but he inked his mega-deal on July 9th.

By August he was in the Gulf Coast League. He would makes three starts, adding an inning to his performance with each outing. Allard struck out the side in his one inning debut August 10th, would strike out five in his next two inning start on August 15th, and struck out four while allowing his first and only hit in his final three inning start of the season. Six innings pitched, 12 strikeouts, no walks. What’s not to get excited about right there?

What is the Braves' fantasy outlook for 2016?

FIrst off, if you had any Braves on your fantasy baseball team for an extended period of time who weren't named Freddie Freeman, Julio Teheran, or Shelby Miller, then either you were playing in a super-deep fantasy league or you had one of the worst fantasy baseball seasons of all-time. Either way, last year's Braves weren't exactly a wellspring of fantasy baseball talent, and it's not looking like they will be in 2016, either. With that being said, Fake Teams did make note of the fact that Shae Simmons (yeah, remember him? He should be back after the first month of next season) could potentially be a big-time closer in the future. But that's in the future.

Braves will wear patch commemorating final season in Turner Field

The Braves' 20th baseball season at Turner Field will be their last one, as the team will be leaving their perfectly-good ballpark in Atlanta for another perfectly-good ballpark in Cobb County. As such, teams normally mark the occasion of moving ballparks by wearing a patch on their jersey, and the Braves are no different. It's just a tad bit hilarious when you see teams like the Cubs celebrating 100 years in the same ballpark, and the Braves are marking the final season in their ballpark after spending just twenty years there.

Dian Toscano is finally cleared to play for Braves

It's finally happened, folks: DIan Toscano is free to play baseball for the Atlanta Braves. After getting entangled in red tape for nearly one calendar year, the Cuban outfielder has finally been cleared to join the Braves. He could see some Winter League action soon, so keep a look out for that. But for now, let's just celebrate the fact that the Braves' mystery Cuban won't be so much of a mystery in the near future.

MLB NEWS

Mariners and Rays kick off Hot Stove season with six-man trade

Well, the Seattle Mariners and Tampa Bay Rays wasted absolutely no time getting their offseason acquisitions under way. It hasn't even a week since the final pitch was thrown in the 2015 World Series, and we've already got our first big trade of the offseason. Seattle traded RP Danny Farquhar, 1B Logan Morrison, and IF Brad Miller to Tampa for RP C.J. Riefenhauser, OF Boog Powell, and SP Nate Karns. Okay, this isn't exactly a blockbuster or anything, but it is pretty exciting because it's the first major move of the offseason, and it kicks off what should be an interesting Winter.

Royals-Mets World Series was ratings winner for FOX

The TV ratings numbers are in for the 2015 World Series, and the bigwigs over at FOX had to have been pleased with what they saw. The ratings were actually the best that they've had in six years (which was back when the Yankees and Phillies squared off in the Fall Classic), and they were driven by the fact that everybody and their mother in Kansas City was watching the World Series. At least 80% of all televisions in the KC metro area were tuned in to FOX for Game 5 of the World Series. That's 4-in-5 televisions, which is absolutely absurd. The Royals have a huge grip on Kansas City right now, and they're winning big time on the field and in the ratings, too.