Add onetime Independent Player of the Year Balbino Fuenmayor (Laredo ’13) to the mix as the Atlanta Braves juggle faces in the organization prior to the move to a new stadium and, hopefully, a better position in the National League East standings.
The slugging first baseman (and occasional third baseman) shed his free agent status by signing with the Braves. Granted, it is a minor league deal and Freddie Freeman is the standard bearer at the position for the major league team, but after using a variety of players there last summer TomahawkTake.com points out Fuenmayor “will provide a more stable asset at first.”
It was noted here recently that “The Great Balbino” was again wielding a big bat in his home country of Venezuela as he tries to prove he still is a potent offensive threat after banging only six home runs for Kansas City’s Triple-A farm club at Omaha in his first season after undergoing knee surgery. The story has gotten even better of late for the right-handed-hitting thumper, whose stock rose after his breakout 2014 season in the Can-Am League (Quebec).
Turning 27 on the day his signing with Atlanta became known, Fuenmayor has 20 runs batted in for his first 19 games in the Venezuelan League. He has four homers and is hitting .315 with a .375 on-base percentage, which is a full 50 points ahead of last summer in Omaha.
Photo: Minda Haas Kuhlmann