Nick Markakis came into 2019 having just posted his first 2+ WAR season since joining the Braves in 2015. The 35 year old was not able to duplicate it.

Nick put up a typical Markakis line of .285/.356/.420, but his season was interrupted near the end of July by a fractured left wrist, courtesy of Philadelphia’s Cole Irvin. He would not return until mid-September, and was limited to 116 games. All 9 of his home runs came before the injury. If those WAR calculations seem right to you, Markakis has been a borderline-minus major league regular almost the entirety of his Braves career.

The Braves have re-signed Nick for the 2020 season. Although he had not missed a game prior to the wrist injury, and played in all 162 games in 2018, the expectation is that Markakis will be a platoon player in 2020. In 2019, Nick put up a .298/.371/.446 line in 356 plate appearances against right handed pitchers, and all 9 of the homers. Contrast this with a .245/.310/.343 line against lefties, in 113 2019 PA’s.

Nick has had a long, solid career, amassing 2355 hits so far, with a .288 batting average. There’s not much more that needs to be said about his career than his list of most similar batters reveals.

  1. Jose Cruz (891.7)
  2. B.J. Surhoff (889.3)
  3. Cesar Cedeno (881.6)
  4. Amos Otis (880.8)
  5. Mark Grace (879.6)
  6. Keith Hernandez (872.7)
  7. Hal McRae (869.5)
  8. Buddy Bell (867.0)
  9. Marquis Grissom (867.0)
  10. Wally Joyner (865.0)

Markakis is a gamble for 2020; signed at a reasonable price, but tying up a roster spot at age 36, and coming off of a major wrist injury. Still, the Braves have won consecutive NL East titles with him. They’ll have a chance to see if they can pull it off again.