3. Tyler Flowers (ATL)
2016 Stats: 83 G, .270/.357/.420, .777 OPS, 76 H, 8 HR, 27 R, 41 RBI, 29 BB, 91 SO and 0.3 bWAR
The Braves had to be impressed with the performance of Flowers in his first season with them. He spent his first seven seasons in the American League with the Chicago White Sox and results was lackluster.
Flowers accumulated a .232 batting average and tallied more than 40 RBI just once with the White Sox. He found new life with the Braves, and his on-field performance reflected that. He looked comfortable in the batter’s box and didn’t have a problem adjusting to NL pitching.
The change of scenery did wonders for him and some players, moving to a new club can make a difference. Flowers played in just over 80 games with tremendous success, and it’s crazy to think what he could have done with more playing time.
It won’t be surprising if Flowers has a breakout season next year, as the potential is there for him to continue improving.
One area for improvement is doing a better job when runners are on base. He threw out a staggeringly-low five percent of baserunners that attempted to steal against him.
Flowers has a career caught-stealing percentage of 23 percent, so it was alarming, he was way below his career average.
If Flowers improves in this aspect, it will not only help him become a better catcher but help the Braves as well. The respective pitcher on the mound can focus on the individual in the batter’s box and worry less about the runner on base.
The Braves are a team on the rise in the National League, as there is plenty of talent on their roster. They have several young players that will get better over the next several years, and it will help them be a contender in the NL East sooner rather than later.