Atlanta Braves Just signed one of the best infielder…

Braves bring back infielder Andrew Velazquez on minor-league contract.

Andrew Velazquez - Atlanta Braves Shortstop - ESPN


The Braves are supplementing their infield depth by bringing back Velazquez.

Just weeks after non-tendering Andrew Velazquez, the Atlanta Braves have brought the infielder back into the organization.

Per the team’s transaction wire, the Braves have signed Velazquez and right-handed pitcher Ben Brown to minor league deals.

Velazquez, 29, is a veteran of seven teams that has lived on the fringe of rosters, being traded twice and selected three times off of waivers since being drafted in the 7th round of the 2012 draft.

Claimed by Atlanta off of waivers in early September, he’s appeared at the major league level with six different teams, most recently the Los Angeles Angels. Primarily a shortstop, Velazquez has also played every outfield position and everything but first base and catcher in the infield over his six seasons.

The bat has never amounted to much, with a career .189/.244/.293 slashline and 12 homers in his 275 career MLB games. His speed has been an asset, though; Velasquez has stolen 40 games in 47 tries.

But this is a defensive addition by Atlanta – after the recent trades of Nicky Lopez and Braden Shewmake to the Chicago White Sox, the utility role at both the major league level as well as AAA Gwinnett was down to Vaughn Grissom (who has defensive questions of his own) or prospect Luke Waddell, who has never appeared in the majors.

Velazquez sports a .973 career fielding percentage at shortstop, with 17 errors in 1499.2 career innings at the position. But 6 of those errors came in only 233.1 innings in 2023, prompting the Angels to put Velazquez on waivers when prospect Zach Neto was healthy and resume to resume his starting shortstop role.

Also joining Atlanta was minor league righty Ben Bowden. A 2016 2nd rounder by the Rockies, Bowden’s accumulated only 35.2 innings in the majors, all with Colorado in 2021, with a 6.56 ERA.

The 29 year-old reliever has three primary pitches, sporting a 92-mph fastball (thrown ~ 50% of the time), a slider, and a changeup. In 2023, spent entirely with Philly’s AAA affiliate (Lehigh Valley), he was 6-2 with a 4.64 ERA in 49 relief appearances. He struck out 76 batters in his 52.1 innings, good for 13.1 K/9, but also walked 32 (5.5 BB/9) and surrendered eight homers.

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