LAKE BUENVA VISTA, Fla. Got your new sticks, huh? Matt Pagnozzi asked as Evan Gattis held up his Louisville Slugger, the Braves prospects name branded into the unfinished ash bat.
The man dubbed El Oso Blanco rubbed his hands over the bat before taking his place in the batting cage, pulling his 6-foot-4, 235-pound frame into a crouch youd expect to see from a much smaller player.
A crowd had gathered around the cage as Gattis, who doesnt wear batting gloves, dug in. With the wind blowing in, the righty sent a shot screaming to left field and another to center, ball after ball exploding off his bat and beyond the fence on the Atlanta Braves complex at Walt Disney World Resort.
His bat is going to carry him as far as this camp (is concerned), manager Fredi Gonzalez said.
Gonzalez is blunt when discussing his expectations for Gattis, who thanks to those prolific home runs, has been one of the most-talked about players in the early goings of spring training.
My impression of him ...