Originally posted on Fox Sports South  |  Last updated 3/27/13
The Legend of Gattis is heading to Atlanta. Evan Gattis, a 26-year-old prospect who spent four years out of baseball, has claimed the final spot on the Braves' bench, answering one of the last remaining questions as the team prepares for Opening Day. With Brian McCann out with a shoulder injury, Gattis will backup Gerald Laird, though with Laird nursing a left calf strain and returning to the lineup Tuesday for the first time since March 17, the two could share duties until the All-Star McCann returns in mid-to-late April. The 16th-ranked prospect in the Braves' system, Gattis has put on a show in the Grapefruit League this spring, hitting .358 with five home runs, 15 RBI and a 1.111 OPS in 53 at-bats. He Gattis beat out fellow catcher Matt Pagnozzi, who had a .355 average this spring with a double, a triple and five RBI in 31 at-bats. Gattis certainly has potential but the question is whether it will translate to the majors? At an age when most prospects have at least had a stint in the big leagues, Gattis has never played above Double-A ball. It's a big jump, but Gattis hasn't been one to do things on a normal trajectory, though as he told FOX Sports South: "I havent really thought about it. Its the only baseball career Ive had." Originally signed to play at Texas A&M in 2004 out of Dallas' Bishop Lynch High, Gattis never played a game as he dealt with depression and drug and alcohol use. After enrolling at Seminole State College, a junior college in Oklahoma, he suffered a knee injury and was redshirted. He left school and would work at a pizza parlor, as a ski-lift operator and a janitor before he joined the University of Texas-Permian Basin, where he hit .403 with 11 home runs in his only season. He impressed the Braves, who drafted him in the 23rd round in 2010. He put his power on display in Class-A Rome in '11 and the Gulf Coast League affiliate, Single-A Lynchburg and Double-A Mississippi last season, hitting a combined 40 home runs. It continued this winter in Venezuela, where Gattis earned nickname "El Oso Blanco" (The White Bear), as he delivered 16 home runs and a .595 average while playing for Aguilas. While manager Fredi Gonzalez said in February that it's Gattis' bat that would carry him this spring, he's shown himself to be above-average defensively. There have been hiccups, like his mishandling a couple of Mike Minor's pitches on Monday against the Mets, but overall he's been significantly better than expected. Even after McCann's return, Gattis could still have a place on the roster, having played left field in the past and Gonzalez has mentioned him potentially spelling Freddie Freeman at first base. There's also the possibility of him being used as the designated hitter with interleague games now sprinkled throughout the season.
GET THE YARDBARKER APP:
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

WATCH: Russell Westbrook posterizes DeMarcus Cousins to seal win

Tampa Bay Lightning trade star goaltender Ben Bishop to the LA Kings in surprise deal

Divac makes bold promise after trading DeMarcus Cousins

Popovich praises Magic, wishes him well with Lakers

Report: Andrew Bogut likely to join Cavs after buyout

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Report: Broncos expected to 'at least discuss' Romo

Report: Raiders don't expect to keep Latavius Murray

Report: Josh Hamilton needs another knee operation

Ball's father says comment about Lakers was misquoted

Revis hints he is open to taking significant pay cut

Several NBA executives have concerns about Lonzo Ball’s father

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Box Score 2/24: A night of NBA disrespect

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

The Aesthetic: Pushing the boundaries of the three-pointer

NBA coaches who should be fired soon

MLB 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!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
the YARDBARKER app
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Top 10 shortstops in baseball for 2017

The most dangerous NBA teams flying under the radar

Eat, Drink, Watch: Your award-worthy weekend planning guide

Grading the NBA trade deadline on the Vince Carter scale

Streaming sports docuseries you don't want to miss

As NHL trade deadline nears, seven teams who could be dealing

The 'Pete Rose instead of Kareem? Surely, you can't be serious' quiz

Teams that can prevent a Cavs-Warriors NBA Finals three-peat

The NFL off-season is a passer’s fancy

QUIZ: Name every MLB pitcher who has recorded 10 or more shutouts in a single season

Today's Best Stuff
For Publishers
Company Info
Help
Follow Yardbarker