The 20 worst A-Braves players: #15 Pat Rockett
Pat Rockett, a San Antonio high school sports legend and standout wide receiver, was heavily recruited by the Texas Longhorns. Unfortunately, he decided to pursue baseball instead. Bummer. Had he chosen football the Braves might have used the 10th overall pick in the 1973 amateur draft on Eddie Murray or Fred Lynn, each of whom was selected behind Rockett.
According to a 1988 article in the local organ chronicling what had been the team’s sorry history at SS, Rockett rarely hustled and balked at instruction, refusing to play winter ball.
“He just didn’t have the heart to play, ” longtime scouting director Paul Snyder said. “He didn’t work at it. He just didn’t want to do those things to make himself a better player.”
Nevertheless a franchise starved for stars hyped Rockett as the next big thing, tapping the 22-year-old as its starting SS in 1977. It quickly became clear that the hype was unwarranted, as Rockett hit a punchless .254 while committing 23 errors in 84 games. He was even worse in ’78, batting .141 in 142 AB, good for a .366 OPS. Paul Maholm, Med Dog, Huddy, Randall Delgado and Brandon Beachy all had a better OPS in 2012 than Rockett produced 34 years ago.
Appropriately, Rockett was pinch hit for in his final major league game. By Darrel Chaney, another candidate for this list. Rockett spent the entire ’79 season at Richmond, hitting .223.
That offseason, he was part of a package sent to Toronto in exchange for Chris Chambliss. Rockett was out of baseball before his 26th birthday.