Found November 28, 2012 on
Fox Sports South:
The legend of Evan Gattis continues to grow.
At 6-foot-4, 230 pounds, hes already big, but hes become Paul Bunyan-like in appearance.
Satellites are needed to track his home runs.
Tales of his feats and deeds are becoming mythic in proportion, crossing international boundaries.
Amazing, no doubt.
Especially for a 26-year-old who wandered away from the game for the better part of six years and hasnt had an at-bat above Double-A.
The Braves are cautiously enamored about Gattis, a catcher who began learning left field last year because it might fast track him to the majors.
Its thought Gattis is even being considered to help fill the void behind the plate for the first month of the 2013 season while Brian McCann finishes rehabbing from surgery on his right shoulder, but that duty most likely will go to Christian Bethancourt, a stronger defensive player and one of the Braves top prospects.
One thing is for sure, Gattis can hit and he can hit for power.
Manager Fredi Gonzalez repeatedly mentioned Gattis last summer, seemingly still in awe of his spring training power displays, and general manager Frank Wren has talked about Gattis ability to hit.
He doesnt care about Gattis age and continues to look at him as a prospect.
The Braves think Gattis, who has hit, and hit with power, at every level hes played, is developing so quickly that they think hell play for the big club at some point, if not sooner.
Gattis damaged South Atlantic League pitchers, hitting 22 home runs for Low-A Rome in 2011.
He then crushed balls and egos in the Carolina League, hitting .385 with nine home runs and 29 RBIs in 21 games for High-A Lynchburg before being promoted to Double-A Mississippi.
A wrist injury caused him to miss about two months, but he still played 74 total games, hitting .305 with 18 home runs and 67 RBIs.
Gattis has become a hero in Venezuela this winter, where his exploits have included hitting plenty of home runs for Aguilas de Zulia.
Gattis is third in the league with eight homers and fourth with 26 RBIs in just 36 games. Hes hitting .279 overall, but has hit .317 with three homers and eight RBIs in his past 10 games through Tuesday.
His two-run home run in the top of the ninth gave Aguilas de Zulia a 3-1 win on Friday.
The Braves plan for Gattis to receive playing time at both catcher and in left field in Venezuela, and hes scheduled to begin next season at Triple-A Gwinnett.
Not bad for someone with only 182 at-bats in Double-A.
Most folks know that Gattis sojourn away from baseball included time in drug rehab, working a bunch of odd jobs in several states and seeking guidance from spiritual gurus.
He played some ball at a junior college in Oklahoma, but for the most part, Gattis was away from the sport from 2004-10, when most players are developing their skills in the minors and possibly breaking into the big leagues.
After years doing his thing, Gattis returned to baseball, enrolling at a school called Texas-Permian Basin.
His lone impressive season led the Braves to draft him in 2010, but he wasnt in their thoughts until he joined Romes roster in 2011.
Now the Braves study Gattis.
They plan his path, like sending him to Venezuela this winter instead of the Arizona Fall League, and they chart his future.
Theres a possible vacancy in left at Turner Field this year, and if Gattis has a massive spring, he might just skip Gwinnett.
That would only add to his legend.
BEST OF MAXIM
AROUND THE WEB
The Atlanta Braves never seemed to have much interest in bringing Michael Bourn back. He was fantastic while he was with them, but it's understandable that the club wanted to go younger. And they did yesterday - just not much younger. The Braves signed free agent B.J. Upton, and the eight-year veteran will now be patrolling the Braves' outfield.
According to Dave...
The Braves expect big things from Andrelton Simmons in 2013
Seems like a long time ago that Tyler Pastornicky beat out Andrelton Simmons in spring training to win the shortstop job.
When he was called up on May 30, Simmons brought excellent defense and surprising hitting prowess to the Atlanta Braves.
Simmons was playing so well after his call up, that he became a legitimate Rookie...
The Braves wasted little time in making a statement in free agency.
Atlanta has reportedly agreed to a five-year 75.25 million deal with center fielder B.J. Upton, marking the largest free-agent contract in the franchises history.
Upton, 28, had spent his entire major-league career with the Rays. Last season he hit .246 with a career-high 28 home runs, 78 RBIs and 31 stolen bases...
The Atlanta Braves lost one speedy centerfielder in Michael Bourn to free agency this offseason, but gained another to take his place.
Numerous sources are reporting that former Tampa Bay Rays centerfielder B.J. Upton signed with the Braves on Wednesday. Upton’s contract with the team is reportedly worth $75.25 million over five seasons. The 28-year-old was the Braves’ primary...
ATLANTA (AP) -- Free-agent outfielder B.J. Upton and the Atlanta Braves have agreed to a five-year contract, a person familiar with the deal said Wednesday night.
The deal is expected to be announced Thursday once Upton passes his physical. The person spoke to The Associated Press on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.
Several media outlets reported the...
It’s official: BJ Upton is the newest Atlanta Brave. Having passed a physical this morning, Upton was introduced by the Braves this afternoon as their new center fielder. Upton will wear number 2 for the Atlanta Braves.
The deal signed by Upton is a 5-year, $75.25 million contract.
BJ Upton was the 2nd pick in the 2002 draft and came on the scene with the Tampa Bay Rays in a big...
The Atlanta Braves struck first in putting out one of the hottest eyes of the hot stove this week, showing now ex-Tampa Bay Ray B.J. Upton $75 million reasons to come over to the National League. But with the winter’s first big-money deal, there’s no shortage of Upton-esque questions that come with it. Whatever comes [...]The post The Come UP: B.J. Upton And The Braves’ Early...
If the MLB rumors are true, then B.J. Upton is about to sign a five year deal worth $75 million with the Atlanta Braves, which will be the largest contract in the history of the franchise. Timing is everything, obviously, but that will mean that the Braves will pay Upton more than they ever paid the likes of Greg Maddux, Tom Glavine, Chipper Jones, Andruw Jones and every other player...
A person familiar with the deal says free-agent outfielder B.J. Upton and the Atlanta Braves have agreed to a five-year contract.
The person says the deal is expected to be announced Thursday once Upton passes his physical. The person spoke to The Associated Press on Wednesday on condition of anonymity because no announcement had been made.
The 28-year-old Upton hit .246 with 28...
On Thursday, the Atlanta Braves announced that they had signed center fielder B.J. Upton to a five year, $75.25 million contract.
The Atlanta Braves had plenty of explanations for the move, claiming they wanted a reliable center fielder and that they wanted to add a right-handed bat to their primarily left-handed lineup.
While the Braves can try and justify their sudden spending...
ATLANTA (AP) -- Jason Heyward was in the audience as B.J. Upton was introduced Thursday as Atlanta's new centerfielder.
That made manager Fredi Gonzalez smile as he realized he didn't have to worry so much about finding the third starter in his outfield.
"Shoot, we may not even need a left fielder," Gonzalez said. "With him playing center and Jason, who just...
For several months, now, the Atlanta Braves have looked like a fitting future home for B.J. Upton. Once Upton officially became a free agent, the Braves made no secret of their interest, and in fact nearly two weeks ago it was suggested to me that I begin writing about Upton signing with Atlanta. That turned out to be not so much a false alarm as a hasty one — Upton didn’t sign...
The Atlanta Braves landed their principal free-agent target
Wednesday, reaching agreement with center fielder B.J. Upton on a
five-year, $75.25 million contract, according to major-league
The Atlanta Braves have landed their top free agent target, former Tampa Bay outfielder BJ Upton. Upton hit .246 with 28 homers and 78 RBI. He also swiped 31 bases, replacing much of the speed the Braves will lose in the person of free agent outfielder Michael Bourn, who is now all but certain to sign elsewhere.
Upton’s speed and power were attractive to the Braves (and numerous...
The Mets used to own the Braves. From 1975 to 1980, New York was 44-28 (.611) against Atlanta. And from 1984 to 1990, the Mets were even better, going 57-27 (.679) against the team they beat in the very first NLCS. But brother, things ain’t what they used to be.
They say a generation is about 20 years, which means we have an entire generation of people who have known only the Braves...