The All-Underrated Braves: 2B
In 2003, Marcus Giles posted an OPS that would’ve led the 2013 Braves, .20 points ahead of Freddie. Giles’ 7.8 WAR was good for 4th in the NL, and his range factor was tops among the league’s second basemen. Not bad for a 53rd round draft pick.
A collision with Andruw Jones caused Giles to miss 60 games in 2004, but he still hit .311 with a .821 OPS. He was just as solid in ’05, with .826 OPS. Then, in ’06, his power numbers eroded to the point that he was non-tendered by the Braves, a decision justified by his .223 BA with the Padres in ’07. By 2009 his career was over.
There’s been much speculation about Giles’ possible use of PED’s, and the trajectory of his career makes that a reasonable assumption. But remember, no morals clause for the All-Underrated Braves.
Was he underappreciated? Debatable, but there’s no debating that, from 2003-05 he was as good a second baseman to ever put on an Atlanta Braves uniform.