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Introducing the all-underrated Bravos

Who are the most underrated Bravos, position-by-position? We’re compiling a list and welcome your nominations.

I’ll get started with the Braves’ most underrated starting pitcher, a gift from former Royals GM John Schuerholz.

Bobby doesn’t get enough credit for assembling the team of the 90s, even though he drafted Glavine, Avery and Justice and traded for Smoltz. In Dec. 1989, Bobby made another trade integral to the ’91 run to the playoffs, acquiring veteran southpaw Charlie Leibrandt from the Royals for Gerald Perry, a first baseman with a .675 OPS the previous season. Leibrandt wasn’t much better, winning just five games with a 1.553 WHIP.

The 33-year-old turned out to be the perfect compliment to the Braves’ young guns — a steadying force who was remarkably consistent, winning 15 games in ’91 and ’92. Leibrandt was 39-31 in three seasons, with a 3.35 ERA and 1.197 WHIP. Yes, he gave up the series-turning HR to Kirby Puckett, but without him the Braves aren’t playing in October.

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10 thoughts on “Introducing the all-underrated Bravos

  1. You mention Leibrandt to casual Braves fans and they think about the world series homer. But he was a solid back end starter and a steadying influence to the young pitchers – Glavine, smoltz, and avery. They called him a perfect teammate.

    For this list, I nominate catcher Greg Olson

  2. Lonnie Smith. Skates had a couple solid seasons exactly when the Bravos needed him. I always felt he has never gotten his due in his role as a solid player at start of the run in the 90s

  3. Glavine was drafted in ’84, when Bobby was still in Toronto.

    Having said that, Bobby stuck with him longer than many other more impatient GM’s would have.

  4. Chris Chambliss had some solid years in the early 80′s helping a team with a long history of being really bad.

  5. If you want to go way back, picking up Tony Gonzalez in June 1969 gave us the third solid outfielder we sorely needed. He played excellent defense and got a lot of clutch hits. Aaron, Niekro and Cepeda got most of the ink, but we would not have won the West without Gonzalez.

  6. Leibrandt is remembered badly because of Bobby’s inept use of him in the ‘Series. Solid player otherwise. Eddie Perez was a rock at backup catcher. And though I guess he was too high profile for this category, I always thought Claudell Washington was a solid pro, day in and day out, his penchant for getting picked off at bad times notwithstanding.

  7. rob, I could have sworn that Claudell Washington’s first name was “Young,” having heard too many bad announcers refer to him as such.

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