This afternoon to kick off the second hour of the Nick Kayal Show, Nick made a very good comparison for the 2021 Braves. Nick says “It dawned on me Thursday night”, this epiphany is that the 2021 Atlanta Braves are a lot like the 2008 World Series Champion Philadelphia Phillies. The similarities will leave your jaw dropped.
The first and most obvious comparison is that both the 2021 Braves and the 2008 Phillies have MVP first baseman. While Ryan Howard was a season removed from his MVP when the Phillies beat the Tampa Bay Rays in five games in the fall classic, as compared to Freddie Freeman winning the award last year it still goes without the debate that the two teams had MVP caliber first baseman.
Next, both the 2021 Braves and 2008 Phillies have very very good second baseman. Chase Utley for the Phillies, who had a .282 batting average, hit 233 homeruns, with 916 RBI’s, obviously Chase Utley has had a full career and is retired now, but Braves second baseman Ozzie Albies has had a great start to his young career with a .279 batting average, 60 home runs, and 205 RBI’s in 404 games with the Braves. Chase Utley was an X-Factor and a huge part of the Phillies World Series run thirteen years ago with a .292 average, 33 home runs, and 104 RBI’s, and if the Braves want to hoist the World Series trophy in 2021 just as the Phillies did in 2008 Ozzie Albies will have to have a big season.
Also, another similarity for the Braves and the 2008 Phillies team is Dansby Swanson and Jimmy Rollins. Dansby Swanson we all know is a very good defensive shortstop who’s offense has kept getting better through his first five seasons. Last year in only sixty games Dansby hit .274 with 10 homeruns and 35 RBI where in 2019 Swanson hit .251 with 17 home runs and 65 RBI’s in 127 games. Jimmy Rollins was that exact same guy for the Phillies. Rollins was a great shortstop with a little pop as well hitting .277 with 11 home runs and 59 RBI’s in 137 games for the Phillies in their championship year. While Dansby’s defense is top notch like Jimmy Rollins, his bat has the opportunity to be so much better, and if Dansby can keep coming up clutch with his bat and continue to take his offense to the next level the Braves will definitely have the same fate as that Philadelphia Phillies team.
Finally, the last major similarity between the 2021 Braves and the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies is our big bats, but not so great defensive left fielders. Pat Burrell who Nick told us was known as “Pat the bat Burrel” because he was only good for his bat can easily be compared to Marcell Ozuna. Both of their bats have major pop, and both of them have been criticized defensively. In 2008 Pat Burrell hit 33 home runs with 86 RBI’s and a .250 batting average in 157 games. Marcell Ozuna led the National League in home runs and RBIs in a shortened sixty game season last year as the Braves designated hitter. However, now with the league taking away the universal DH Macell Ozuna will play left field for the Braves everyday, and while his defense won’t be as much of a liability as Pat Burrell he will still probably won’t win a Gold Glove out there this year
Are you picking your jaw off the floor yet. Yea that’s what I thought. The similarities are astounding, and great stuff by Nick Kayal to make that connection. Now that we have made the comparisons, and gotten all the similarities together the only thing left to do is to finish the same as the 2008 Philadelphia Phillies did. The question is though will they?