Braves land pair of Joneses on HOF ballot

Legends Chipper, Andruw lead Atlanta players on list

Braves land pair of Joneses on HOF ballot

ATLANTA -- Chipper Jones and Andruw Jones stood as two of the most revered and influential figures within the greatest era in Braves franchise history. The two Braves legends will soon get a better feel for the strength of their Hall of Fame candidacies, as both were on the 2018 Baseball Writers' Association of America ballot for the first time on Monday afternoon.

Chipper Jones stands as a near-certain first-ballot Hall of Famer with a legitimate chance to become just the 16th player to be included on at least 95 percent of the ballots cast. A player must appear on 75 percent of the ballots cast to gain enshrinement.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Barry M. Bloom

After tough road, Salazar gets to feel joy of title

After tough road, Salazar gets to feel joy of title

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The bucket of Gatorade doused Peoria Javelinas manager Luis Salazar on Saturday with the usual mixture of cold, wet, sticky goo. His club had just defeated the Mesa Solar Sox, 8-2, at Scottsdale Stadium to win this year's Arizona Fall League championship.

This was a happy moment for the 61-year-old native of Venezuela who has endured more than enough grief in recent years. The championship came just a little more than six years after Salazar lost his left eye in a freak baseball accident.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MVP Acuna, Braves mates lead Peoria to title

MVP Acuna, Braves mates lead Peoria to title

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The contingent of Atlanta prospects garnered plenty of attention throughout the Arizona Fall League season, so it's only appropriate that the Braves led the way in the most important game of the fall.

Ronald Acuna and Alex Jackson combined to go 4-for-8 with six RBIs as Peoria claimed the AFL Championship with an 8-2 win over Mesa on Saturday afternoon at Scottsdale Stadium.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Acuna caps sensational year with AFL MVP

Braves top prospect becomes youngest in Fall League history to win award

Acuna caps sensational year with AFL MVP

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- As the 2017 season comes to a close, Ronald Acuna has one more piece of hardware to add to his trophy case.

The Braves' No. 1 prospect was named the MVP of the Arizona Fall League after he hit .325/.414/.639 and led the league with seven homers in 23 games for the Peoria Javelinas.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Anthopoulos quickly identifying Braves' needs

Anthopoulos quickly identifying Braves' needs

ATLANTA -- Between leaving Houston after Game 5 of the World Series and arriving in Atlanta the next day for an interview that had been scheduled just 48 hours earlier, new GM Alex Anthopoulos tried to learn as much as possible about the Braves' current roster, talent-rich farm system and financial situation.

Anthopoulos' last-minute cramming session was aided by the information supplied by Perry Minasian, who became the Braves' director of player personnel on Sept. 19 -- without any reason for Minasian to anticipate he was just a little more than a month away from once again working for one of his closest friends.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Acuna feeds off family, flourishes in Fall League

Acuna feeds off family, flourishes in Fall League

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- When the Mesa Solar Sox and Peoria Javelinas take the field in Saturday's Arizona Fall League championship game, no player will draw more attention than Atlanta Braves 19-year-old outfield phenom Ronald Acuna.

Watch live at 3 p.m. ET on MLB Network & MLB.com

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Longtime exec Hart leaves Braves

Longtime exec Hart leaves Braves

ATLANTA -- Veteran baseball executive John Hart has decided to leave the Braves to pursue other interests, the club announced Friday.

When the Braves introduced Alex Anthopoulos as their new executive vice president and general manager on Monday, it was announced Hart's role would change from president of baseball operations to special advisor.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Terence Moore

McGuirk continuing to prove his excellence

McGuirk continuing to prove his excellence

ATLANTA -- The question was simple, and so was the answer. Somebody asked me during the live television show I do every Sunday night for the local ABC affiliate to name the most impressive executive in the history of Atlanta professional sports, and I responded within milliseconds. No, faster than that.

Terry McGuirk. Hank Aaron loves him, so it's a wrap.

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Terence Moore is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Anthopoulos humbly embraces new challenge

Braves GM to harness expertise of front office while settling into role

Anthopoulos humbly embraces new challenge

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Though he has been given full autonomy within the Braves' baseball operations department, newly appointed senior vice president and general manager Alex Anthopoulos does not intend to drastically alter the direction taken by those who have guided the club through the uncertainty that has existed within the past month.

"I'm going to lean a lot on the people who are here," Anthopoulos said. "I know they have already had organizational meetings and met with everybody. They've gotten a full breadth of, staff-wise, what needs to get done. They're going to be critically important. It's going to take some time. I have some opinions from the outside, but those guys are way more informed than I am."

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Acuna or Robles? What execs, AFL players say

Saturday's Fall League finale features two of MLB's finest phenoms

Acuna or Robles? What execs, AFL players say

One of the best things about the Arizona Fall League is getting to see top prospects from around baseball compete with and against each other for an extended period of time. The Futures Game is a great event to start off the All-Star break, but it's just a one-game exhibition. The AFL provides the opportunity to see the top Minor Leaguers in action over a seven-week span, where evaluators and prospect writers alike can compare and contrast the top prospects in the game.

This year's Fall League has included one of the best head-to-head matchups of top prospects in recent memory, and the duo will face off one last time on Saturday when Peoria and Mesa square off in the AFL title game at 3 p.m. ET on MLB Network and MLB.com.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves anticipate results of investigation soon

ORLANDO, Fla. -- The Braves are expected to find out soon the results of MLB's investigation into their alleged infractions committed in relation to the domestic Draft and the signing of international prospects.

This announcement, which could be made early next week and will likely involve penalties against the organization, will at least allow the Braves to begin distancing themselves from what team CEO and chairman Terry McGuirk regards as a couple of the toughest months in franchise history.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves introduce Anthopoulos as new GM, VP

Braves introduce Anthopoulos as new GM, VP

ORLANDO, Fla. -- Two years after rejecting a lucrative five-year contract that would have extended his successful tenure as the Blue Jays' general manager, Alex Anthopoulos has accepted the challenge of guiding the Braves past recent problems and toward what could be a very bright future.

Braves CEO and chairman Terry McGuirk appeared both excited and relieved during a Monday afternoon news conference at SunTrust Park. As he introduced Anthopoulos as the team's new executive vice president and general manager, he also seemed to distance himself from the frustration created by an ongoing MLB investigation that necessitated this change.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Tracy Ringolsby

Anthopoulos gets Schuerholz-like opportunity

Braves GM joins talent-rich organization, just as HOF exec did 27 years ago

Anthopoulos gets Schuerholz-like opportunity

The last time Alex Anthopoulos attended Major League Baseball's General Managers Meetings, he was out of work, having just resigned as GM of the Blue Jays in the aftermath of a front-office makeover in which Mark Shapiro came over from the Indians to oversee the team's baseball operations.

Anthopoulos stopped by, however, to be recognized as the Sporting News Executive of the Year, voted on by his peers, for having overseen the rebuilding of a Blue Jays franchise that was coming off a late-season rush to claim the 2015 American League East title and advance to the postseason for the first time since winning back-to-back World Series in 1992 and '93.

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Tracy Ringolsby is a columnist for MLB.com. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Acuna stars in Military Appreciation Game

Atlanta's top prospect goes deep twice as Peoria tops Surprise

Acuna stars in Military Appreciation Game

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- Playing on live TV in front of a national audience, Ronald Acuna turned the annual Military Appreciation Game into a personal showcase.

The Braves' No. 1 prospect (MLB No. 5) hit a pair of homers, bringing his total to a league-leading seven, as Peoria topped Surprise, 11-10, in a back-and-forth game on Saturday night.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Former Rox manager Weiss joins Braves' staff

New bench coach joins Young Sr. (first-base coach), Fasano (catching instructor) as latest hires

Former Rox manager Weiss joins Braves' staff

ATLANTA -- Braves manager Brian Snitker's coaching staff will assume a new look next year as Walt Weiss and Eric Young Sr. will replace Terry Pendleton and Eddie Perez, respectively. The pair had stood as Atlanta's two longest-tenured coaches.

The Braves announced Weiss will take over for Pendleton as bench coach, while Young will assume the first-base duties previously held by Perez. Sal Fasano will also join Atlanta's staff to serve as a catching coach.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves' prospects bond at development camp

Pitchers Wright, Allard, Soroka among participants at SunTrust Park

Braves' prospects bond at development camp

ATLANTA -- A little more than four months after ending his career at Vanderbilt University and experiencing the thrill of being taken with the fifth overall selection in this year's MLB Draft, Kyle Wright joined some of the Braves' other top pitching prospects at SunTrust Park to participate in the Rookie Development Camp.

This 10-day event, which concluded Wednesday, introduced the prospects to various aspects ranging from media training to financial planning. The talented hurlers were also schooled in the areas of mental strength and physical conditioning. But maybe most importantly, they were simply given a chance to bond in an environment that they could soon inhabit within the next few years.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

McCanns raise money to fight childhood cancer

Brian and Ashley host fundraiser, celeb softball game to benefit Rally Foundation

McCanns raise money to fight childhood cancer

ATLANTA -- Though they call Atlanta home, Houston is a special place for Brian McCann and his wife, Ashley, who will forever remember the resolve the residents of this hurricane-stricken city showed before experiencing the thrill of celebrating a World Series championship.

A little more than a week after the Astros' Game 7 win, the McCanns returned to Atlanta and picked up their fight against childhood cancer. Ashley delivered a powerful speech during the Rally Foundation Benefit Bash held Friday night at downtown Atlanta's Georgia Aquarium. She referenced #HoustonStrong, likening the resolve shown by the Houston community after Hurricane Harvey to the determination displayed by the kids and families who are tested daily by some form of childhood cancer.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Top prospects Acuna, Riley turn heads in AFL

Top prospects Acuna, Riley turn heads in AFL

ATLANTA -- As Ronald Acuna has spent the past month showing why he might now be baseball's top overall prospect, Austin Riley has created further reason to believe he could join Acuna in Atlanta's lineup by the start of the 2019 season.

While Acuna and Riley have been the most impressive, the Braves have reason to be pleased with how many of their prospects have fared in the Arizona Fall League. Max Fried has impressively compensated for the innings lost after he was called up to the Majors, and Alex Jackson has at least reaffirmed his bat has some power potential.

Jackson delivers in Fall League

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Inciarte wins NL Gold Glove Award for CF

Inciarte wins NL Gold Glove Award for CF

ATLANTA -- Ender Inciarte grew up idolizing Andruw Jones and Jim Edmonds. If he extends his recent defensive excellence, he may one day have a Gold Glove collection that rivals those amassed by those distinguished center fielders.

Inciarte received a much-deserved honor on Tuesday night, when it was announced he had won his second straight Rawlings Gold Glove Award. He won his first last year and vowed it would not be his last.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves aim to add vet arms to youthful mix

Club seeking proven assets for rotation, bullpen

Braves aim to add vet arms to youthful mix

ATLANTA -- Now that the free-agent-signing period has arrived, it will be interesting to see how aggressive the Braves might be with their attempt to add at least one proven veteran to their bullpen and possibly enhance their young rotation with an experienced arm.

Given what will be available on next year's free-agent market, the Braves may have even less reason to provide a lucrative, multi-year contract to one of this year's free agents. Their payroll projection could also be influenced by the significance of fines levied once MLB concludes its investigation of the alleged infractions committed during international signings.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Murphy on HOF's Modern Era ballot

Garvey, John, Mattingly, Miller, Morris, Murphy, Parker, Simmons, Tiant, Trammell to be considered

Murphy on HOF's Modern Era ballot

The Modern Baseball Era Committee, which is charged with the process of electing players into the National Baseball Hall of Fame through the Veterans Committee process, announced 10 candidates for election on Monday.

The candidates include nine players whose careers spanned a good chunk of the era from 1970-87, plus the late Marvin Miller, the MLB Players Association leader who put an indelible stamp on the game.

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Barry M. Bloom is a national reporter for MLB.com and writes an MLBlog, Boomskie on Baseball. Follow @boomskie on Twitter. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Acuna among Fall Stars Game's top performers

Urias show range for West squad, Robles tabbed MVP in East's win

Acuna among Fall Stars Game's top performers

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- Another Arizona Fall League Fall Stars Game is in the books and, not surprisingly given the talent at Salt River Fields at one time on Saturday evening, there were a number of outstanding performances throughout the 4-2 East Stars victory.

It's obviously a tiny sample size, so there shouldn't be too much read into this Top 10 performers list, other than to say some prospects rose to the occasion in front of the largest crowd of the AFL season and on national TV.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves have offseason questions to answer

Braves have offseason questions to answer

ATLANTA -- This has been a unique offseason as the Braves have dealt with the fallout from former general manager John Coppolella's ouster and spent all of October evaluating who will now head their baseball operations department.

Once the Braves determine who will be making the ultimate roster-related decisions this offseason, they can dive into what could be a very influential Hot Stove season. The team might still be a year away from becoming legitimate postseason contenders. But with a few bullpen upgrades, they may maximize the potential value of a lineup that could use another power bat and a young rotation that could rapidly improve as next summer progresses. Here are three key issues facing Atlanta this offseason.

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Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Acuna, Fried take AFL Player of Week awards

Acuna, Fried take AFL Player of Week awards

PEORIA, Ariz. -- After rocketing through Atlanta's system during the regular season, Braves prospects Ronald Acuna and Max Fried haven't slowed down in the Arizona Fall League. The pair swept the AFL's week 3 awards as the league's Hitter and Pitcher of the Week.

At just 19, Acuna was named MLB Pipeline's Hitter of the Year after a breakout season that saw him hit .325/.374/.522 across three levels and play in the SiriusXM All-Star Futures Game. Fried, Atlanta's No. 9 prospect, made his big league in August after starting the season at Double-A.

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Omar Soussi is a senior journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

MLB.com Columnist

Jonathan Mayo

Acuna, Riley go back-to-back in Peoria win

Acuna, Riley go back-to-back in Peoria win

SURPRISE, Ariz. -- They first played together back in 2015, when both were making their pro debuts in the Braves system. They moved to full-season ball as a duo in 2016 and both began the year together in the Florida State League in 2017. And now both are excelling in the Arizona Fall League. There is no question that Ronald Acuna and Austin Riley have each other's backs.

That was particularly true in the sixth inning of Peoria's 9-2 win in Surprise against the Saguaros on Tuesday. Acuna, the Braves' top prospect and No. 5 overall, hit a two-run homer off of Twins No. 8 prospect Tyler Jay. Riley promptly followed up with a solo shot of his own. The Braves pair accounted for five of Peoria's 15 hits as the Javelinas improved to a league-best 11-7.

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Jonathan Mayo is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter @JonathanMayo and Facebook, and listen to him on the weekly Pipeline Podcast. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Braves prospects continue to flourish in AFL

Braves prospects continue to flourish in AFL

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The contingent of Braves prospects in the Arizona Fall League have impressed throughout the first half of the season, and the trend continued on Saturday.

A trio of Braves' hitting prospects provided the bulk of the offense, while Max Fried showcased impressive stuff on the mound in Peoria's third straight win, a 10-4 victory over Salt River.

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William Boor is a reporter for MLBPipeline.com. Follow him on Twitter at @wboor. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.

Acuna belts pair of homers in AFL action

Acuna belts pair of homers in AFL action

PEORIA, Ariz. -- Peoria's prospect-packed offense was at it again on Friday, as Braves top prospect Ronald Acuna launched a pair of homers and San Diego's slugging first-base prospect Josh Naylor added another to lead the Javelinas to an Arizona Fall League-best ninth win in 15 games, 9-8 over Salt River.

The Javelinas' offense, which boasts four of the Fall League's 12 players who rank among MLB Pipeline's Top 100 prospects (No. 5 Acuna; No. 41 Kyle Lewis of the Mariners; No. 48 Luis Urias of the Padres; No. 92 Michael Chavis of the Red Sox), has now scored 28 runs on 34 hits over Peoria's past two games.

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Brittany Bowyer is a graduate journalism student at Arizona State University. This story is part of a partnership between MLB.com and ASU's Walter Cronkite School of Journalism and Mass Communication. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.