CATCHER: More of a time-share than platoon since they both hit from the right-side, veterans Tyler Flowers and Kurt Suzuki return.
INFIELD: Freddie Freeman is one of the best at first base with youngsters Ozzie Albies and Dansby Swanson slated to be the double-play combo. The hot corner is up for grabs with Johan Camargo holding the edge over Adonis Garcia and Rio Ruiz.
OUTFIELD: Here's where it gets interesing as Matt Kemp, Ender Inciarte and Nick Markakis return with phenom Ronald Acuna waiting in the wings. The scuttlebutt is Acuna will be sent to Triple-A for a few weeks, then called up, a la Kris Bryant a couple years ago. The question is where will he play? Inciarte holds the most trade value while Kemp is essentially immovable and Markakis not likely to garner anything significant in return.
BENCH: There's ample infiield depth with Jace Peterson and Danny Santana joining whoever doesn't win the job at third. Matt Adams is also in the mix. The outfield reserves are unclear until the Acuna scenario plays out.
ROTATION: Veteran R.A. Dickey is gone, leaving the inconsistent Julio Teheran to front a young rotation. Mike Foltynewicz, Sean Newcomb, Lucas Sims and Luiz Gohara currently line up to start the season, but don't count out bringing in another veteran as the promising youngsters can't be counted on for 32 starts each. Matt Wisler and Aaron Blair are in-house options.
BULLPEN: Hopefully, the club hands the ninth inning reins exclusively to Arodys Vizcaino, leaving Jim Johnson to set up. A.J. Minter has a chance to enter the 100-K club.
PROSPECTS TO WATCH: The aforementioned Acuna heads the list with a trio of young arms all with a chance to see action next summer. Max Fried debuted in 2017 and has impressed in the Arizona Fall League. Mike Soroko and Kolby Allard could do the same this season.
POSSIBLE ACQUISITIONS: It's possible Atlanta brings in a starting pitcher and third baseman, moving Camargo to super-utility, but other than how they clear a spot for Acuna, it looks to be a quiet hot stove for the Braves.
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