Braves Nation wants to know, who’ll lead this team? Or at least the media wants to know.
It was one of the most frequently asked questions of players and manager Fredi Gonzalez during the first week of spring training: Who will fill the leadership void now that veterans Chipper Jones, Martin Prado, David Ross and Eric Hinske are all with other teams or, in Chipper’s case, retired?
Along with reliever Peter Moylan, there were some of the biggest, boldest personalities in the clubhouse. And Prado was the guy that effortlessly bonded with players of all ethnicities and ages, not to mention served as ringleader for the outbreak of dugout dances and handshakes that kept the Braves looser during the past couple of seasons.
“It’ll naturally happen,” said Tim Hudson, veteran leader of the pitching staff. “I feel like we’ve had some leaders aside from Chipper throughout the years. Our job is just to keep doing what we’ve been doing. I think some of the younger guys are going to have to step up a little bit. Guys like 9Jason) Heyward and (Freddie) Freeman, even though they’re young guys, I feel like they’re leadership roles are going to step up a little bit. Obviously (Brian) McCann and (Dan) Uggla are going to continue to do what they did….
“Obviously we lost a lot of our leaders on the team. Those guys were vocal and emotional leaders on the team. So our personality is definitely going to be a lot different. But at the same time we’re bringing in some guys that we’re hopeful can fill those voids.