He does cast a shadow.
At 6-foot-4 and 260 pounds, Tyler Flowers is a mountain of a man. By trade and very much on purpose, Flowers plays Major League baseball for gain and pain.
He does squat down for a living with his tools of ignorance – his knee guards, his face mask and his thick leather glove. Flowers toils under the hot summer sun and in the Atlanta rain.
Somehow he likes it, even with his aching hamstrings. As it turns out, Flowers will play his third straight season with the Atlanta Braves next year. Flowers, the veteran catcher, consented to a $4 million dollar contract with the Braves early last week.
Catching at the Major League level is good work if you can get it. For nine years, Flowers has been a big league receiver on the dirt and in the stadiums. Flowers is 31 years old, and he still has the game of baseball in his heart.
He lives for the infield fly balls, the strikeouts, calling the pitches and of course, the meetings at the pitcher’s mound. And there is no place that Flowers would rather play these days than in Atlanta with a Braves team that is regrouping in hopes of contending in the National League East in the very near future.
Flowers gives the Braves a good arm, a sharp baseball mind and some occasional power. He hit 12 home runs and 16 doubles for the Braves this year. Flowers also batted .281 with 49 RBI’s and 89 hits. He played in 99 games and had 317 at-bats.
Flowers split the Braves catching duties this season with fellow veteran Kurt Suzuki, the 34 year old who also re-signed with Atlanta for 2018. Suzuki will make $3.5 million next season with the Braves. Together, Flowers and Suzuki are a formidable twosome.
Suzuki earned another contract with Atlanta with his 2017 production – 19 home runs, 50 RBI’s and a .283 batting average.
Both Flowers and Suzuki will likely share the catching duties with the Braves once again next season. Both catchers are just glad to stay in Atlanta with a team that could be on the verge of winning on a frequent basis. The Braves are loaded with talent and high draft choices.
It is only a matter of time for the Braves to turn their fortunes around. As for Flowers, he hopes his 10th Major League season is his best ever in 2018. And it just might be.
Tyler Flowers, the Roswell resident, has been a solid and underrated player during the past nine Major League seasons with career totals of 85 doubles, 448 hits, 66 home runs, a .240 batting average and 1,865 at-bats.
Flowers, the former junior college baseball star at Chipola in Marianna, Fla., has gone on to play in 613 Major League games. And he isn’t done yet, according to the Atlanta Braves and Flowers.