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.