ATLANTA -- Jordan Luplow’s defensive skills earned him a chance to crack the Braves’ outfield mix next year.
Luplow signed a one-year, $1.4 million deal with the Braves on Monday. As things currently stand, the 29-year-old outfielder will come to Spring Training with a chance to battle for the left field spot. But there’s always a chance another outfielder could be added before the season starts.
Luplow, who was non-tendered by the D-backs, has an option remaining and can be controlled through the 2024 season. The Braves attempted to acquire him before August’s Trade Deadline, but Arizona opted not to move him.
The Braves are hopeful Eddie Rosario bounces back from a rough 2022 season, which was blemished and shortened by vision issues. But Luplow could prove to be a good platoon option, or a valuable backup outfielder capable of handling both corner spots.
Luplow hit .176 with 11 homers and a .634 OPS in 234 plate appearances for the D-backs this past season. The 29-year-old outfielder's best offensive season occurred in 2019, when he hit .276 with 15 homers and a .923 OPS over 261 plate appearances for the Guardians.
While the Braves don’t know what they’ll get from Luplow offensively, they look forward to what he brings defensively. His arm strength ranked in the 96th percentile in MLB, and he has shown great range while playing both corner outfield spots.
Luplow produced a .673 OPS and hit eight of his 11 homers against left-handed pitchers last year, but he has an .841 OPS against them in his career. This creates the possibility of a platoon with Rosario. If nothing else, the Braves’ newest outfielder could be a solid backup, who could aid Ronald Acuña Jr.’s stability by capably handling the right field spot on occasion.