The Atlanta Braves and the fan base have a lot to look forward to in the near future. One player in particular is 20-year-old Ozzie Albies (turned 20 on January 7th).
Albies, a shortstop turned second baseman, is originally from Willemstad, Curacao and is currently one of the Braves top prospects — if you’re not counting Dansby Swanson, he is our top prospect. In 2017, he will enter his fourth season within the Braves organization.
Article continues below ...
Many believed Ozhaino Jurdy Jiandro Albies (his full name) would have been called up in September of 2016 and been a full-timer in 2017, but unfortunately an elbow injury happened late in the season.
While playing for the Mississippi Braves on September 7, 2016, Albies took what looked like a normal swing, but it wasn’t. The pitch was in on the hands and after the swing you could tell something wasn’t right.
After visiting Dr. James Andrews, Albies was diagnosed with an elbow fracture. His 2016 season was over and the start of the 2017 season would be in jeopardy.
2016 was a fantastic season for him as he slashed .321/.391/.467 in 371 plate appearances between both Triple-A Gwinnett and Double-A Mississippi. He totaled 49 extra-base hits — six homers, 10 triples and 33 doubles — and had 30 stolen bases.
Think the elbow injury was going to slow Albies down?? I don’t think so
A photo posted by Ozzie Albies (@albiesozzie) on Sep 18, 2016 at 12:24pm PDT
Albies is on the road to recovery and we’re all looking forward to seeing what kind of season this 5’9″ 160 pound kid can do.
One thing the Braves don’t want to do is rush him back.
Remember the Gavin Floyd injury and those nasty photos? He fractured the same bone as Albies. Floyd also re-fractured the same bone a year later when trying to make a comeback. Also, Daniel Winkler fractured his elbow and is still recovering.
Atlanta has the pieces now with Jace Peterson and Sean Rodriguez to get through the beginning of the 2017 season. I’m thinking Albies starts the year (IF he proves and the organizations doctors think he’s healthy enough to play) in Gwinnett.
The Braves have said all along this offseason that they expect him to be ready for the beginning of spring training.
Even though I’m sure doctors haven’t cleared him to throw (just speculating, nothing official there), he is determined to get back onto the field. Can’t nothing slow him down, oh no, he’s got to keep on moving!
Ozzie posted this video to his Instagram page earlier today…
A video posted by Ozzie Albies (@albiesozzie) on Jan 16, 2017 at 7:36am PST
Looks like he’s already in Florida at the ESPN Wide World of Sports Complex! Braves pitchers and catchers report to camp in 29 days.
One last thing…did anyone catch the number he was wearing?? Go ahead, I’ll give you another chance to watch the video.
Strange huh? He’s wearing the #5. Can’t take anything too much from this because it looks like a warmup shirt and possibly has nothing to do with the 2017 season, but someone is already wearing that jersey number…Freddie Freeman!
Albies has worn a couple different jersey numbers throughout his Braves career — #2, 7, 20, 87 (in Atlanta’s Spring Training in 2016). Swanson wore #2 for the Braves at the end of last season, but will switch to #7 in 2017. Currently, Anthony Recker has #20.