Originally written on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 10/20/14
Jose Constanza helped energize the Braves last August with his ability to reach base and his speed. His performance appeared to give him a head start on making the team in 2012. But Constanza has struggled this spring, leaving room for two other backup outfielders Jordan Parraz and Luis Durango to play their way into the race for a spot on the opening day roster. With backup outfielders Matt Diaz and Eric Hinske, who can also play first base, virtually assured of making the team on the basis of their experience, proven power and pinch-hitting skills, we handicap the battle between the Constanza, Parraz and Durango for the final outfield spot. The frontrunner: Jordan Parraz Parraz, who is 27 years old, has never played in the majors, but hes proven this spring that he has strong offensive skills by hitting .343 with one home run, six RBIs and an OPS of .909. He has more power than either Constanza or Durango, but doesnt have their speed and appears to be limited defensively when hes in center, which hurts his chances. But the Braves seem to be trying to accommodate the right-handed hitting Parraz by trying Jason Heyward in center at times this spring. Heyward has appeared comfortable there, meaning Parraz likely has the inside track. Parraz is a .289 hitter in the minors and hit a career-high 14 home runs in low-A Lexington in 2007. He hit .289 with nine home runs and 52 RBIs in 128 games for Triple-A ScrantonWilkes-Barre. The incumbent: Jose Constanza Constanza, 28, surprised many by arriving from Triple-A Gwinnett last July and hitting .303 with seven steals in 42 games with the Braves. It was the first time hed been in the majors and he cooled off in September, with only four hits and a .174 average that month after hitting .342 in August. Based on that experience and his ability to play center field, he was the favorite to earn a backup spot this spring, but Constanza, who is left-handed, has hit only .188 with a stolen base this spring. He also walked only once, giving him a .212 OBP. Constanza plays center well and might not have as strong an arm as Durango, but the Braves like players they know (Remember, they brought back Matt Diaz last year) and have seen interact in the clubhouse, which could be in his favor. The longshot: Luis Durango Durango, who will be 26 on April 23, has big league experience with San Diego and Houston, but hasnt been able to stick around the majors. He played only two games with the Astros last year after seeing action in 28 games with the Padres in 2010 and brings a career .292 major league average into this season with seven steals in 39 career games. Durango and Constanza are basically the same size 5 foot 9, between 150 and 155 pounds and basically the same skill set, although Durango, who is a switch hitter, might have a better eye and could be a better base runner than Constanza. Durango leads the Braves with a .500 average this spring and has five walks, giving him an amazing OBP of .591, but hes seen only limited action since March 17, with only five at-bats in the past nine games. He has 10 fewer at-bats this spring than Constanza and 13 fewer than Parraz.

Mike Pettine considered benching Hoyer for Manziel

Percy Harvin speaks out: 'I'm not a perfect person'

Report: Kobe has prevented Lakers from signing top talent

Red Sox may be ready to move Yoenis Cespedes

Alleged details of War Machine's suicide letter released

Austin Davis says Rams security didn't recognize him


LeBron: Bulls are 'much better' than Cavs right now

Redskins to stick with Colt McCoy over Kirk Cousins

Rick Pitino: Louisville will beat FSU in football

Report: Rams considered favorites to move to LA

Kobe to Julius Randle: You’re an idiot if you (expletive) this up

Slava Voynov arrested on D.V. charge, suspended indefinitely

WATCH: Boxer viciously attacks referee at Euro Championships

WATCH: Salvador Perez hassles Lorenzo Cain at media session

Lane Kiffin trashed in Tennessee political ad

WATCH: Lawrence Timmons throws up on field during MNF

10 NBA players who could be traded by the All-Star break

WATCH: Jimbo Fisher gets annoyed, cuts interview short

WATCH: Les Miles has classic reaction to dumb question

WATCH: Tennessee coach tried to trip Ole Miss player?

News station congratulates Gary Payton for breaking TD record

Did Sidney Crosby troll Flyers fans with Halloween costume?

Why Dan Mullen is not leaving Mississippi State

12 amazing stats from Week 7

Braves News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

Lane Kiffin trashed in political ad

Details of War Machine's suicide letter leaked

Angry Jimbo Fisher cuts off interview

Is Kobe's deal hurting the Lakers?

Tenn. coach tried to trip Ole Miss CB?

GGG continues his reign of terror

The 6 things that mattered this weekend in the premier league

News station congratulates Gary Payton for TD record

Ray Rice could be back by Week 10?

12 amazing stats from Week 7

World Series preview

Favre: I got calls about playing last season

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.