2020 Topps #443 Johan Camargo Atlanta Braves MLB Baseball  Trading Card: Collectibles & Fine Art

After a hot spring training, it appeared that the Braves were ready to start the season with Johan Camargo as the every day 3rd baseman. Then came the Covid.

Camargo strained a hamstring in an intra-squad game as the Braves prepared for the delayed July start, and got off to a terrible start at the plate. He lost the 3rd base job to Austin Riley, and was ultimately sent to the alternate training site on September 9th. Johan only got 127 plate appearances in the regular season, the final numbers reading: .200/.244/.367.

After Adam Duvall injured an oblique in game one of the NLCS, Camargo was activated for the remainder of the series, where he platooned with Nick Markakis against left-handers. Although he has some outfield experience, the Braves elected to use him at 3rd and to shift Riley into left field in those cases.

I love the idea of taking chances on prospects who’ve been given up on, but who are approaching what should be their peak age. The Braves have taken such a chance internally with Camargo, who they will bring back at a slight pay cut for his age 27 season. It can be argued whether or not Camargo was ever really a prospect, but the Braves would certainly take a return to the .272 batting average and 19 home runs he put up in 2018, or for him to even remotely approach his career .345 batting average in 220 AAA at bats.

Camargo has shown what he can do; the clock is surely ticking on his time in Atlanta to get back to it.

More on Camargo and the Braves payroll can be found here.