The All-Underrated Braves: OF

Maybe it was because he played in the late 70s, when the Braves were relentlessly uninspiring. He also had a reputation for being surly, if memory serves.

Whatever the reason, few Braves fans seem to remember Jeff Burroughs — acquired from the Rangers for  Adrian DevineKen HendersonDave MayRoger MoretCarl Morton and $250,000 — fondly. But, for two years in particular, he was a legitimate force in the middle of the order, posting a .849 OPS in four seasons in Atlanta.

In 1977, his first as a Brave, Burroughs clubbed 41 homers, second in the NL. The following season he was second to Dave Parker in NL Offensive WAR. hitting .301. His OBP was an eye-popping .432 that year, but, unfortunately for Burroughs, getting on base wasn’t valued as much then as now.

He was awful in ’79, batting just .224 in ’79 with a .348 slugging percentage. It wasn’t the first time Burroughs followed a terrific season with a crappy one. After winning the AL MVP the previous season as a 23-year-old, Burroughs hit just .226 with a .724 OPS in ’75.

Burroughs rebounded somewhat in 1980, though injuries limited him  to 99 games. He was 29 then but would never again be an everyday player. The Braves sold low, trading him to Seattle for Carlos Diaz prior to the ’81 season.

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5 Comments on The All-Underrated Braves: OF

  1. I remember the ups and downs. I was a grade schooler during his braves time but I attended many games per season (15 or so each year). I remember him as lazy and uninteresting off the field.

  2. Jack Straw // February 18, 2014 at 4:39 pm //

    During his tenure in Atlanta he wasn’t underrated, he was our big star. Strange guy, and a horse’s ass. He was the last of the bonus babies and at 18 had the contracts drawn to ensure his parents could not touch any of the money.

  3. roadrunner48 // February 18, 2014 at 4:45 pm //

    He started walking a lot when his bat started slowing down. And after a season of that, the league figured him out and he was done. Sounds like Dan Uggla to me.

  4. pepefreeus // February 18, 2014 at 5:04 pm //

    I missed his big ’77 season here. He still had some pop in ’79 but was clearly declining. A solid career with a couple of huge seasons (’74 AL MVP and ’77.)

  5. buzz from the 76 debut season of Teddy Turner. and in 77 (year 2 of ted) he gets two mega acquisitions of big jeff and gary mathews in the OF . all excitement a bound (sadly the marshall spring training bull shit and april pout) side tracked things,, jeff did great, but it wore off quick team realized bigger picture after 77 “band aid plan does not work” and need to work the farm system. he was benched most/all of sept of 78 as they wanted to look to some youth (not sure cox was a big fan of him). given fresh start in 79 but half way through once again he does something and was less then a part time player 2nd half (once again invisible in sept). team mgmt really thought he would be dealt in the off season with the kids coming through . Jeff was actually dealt before 80 but refused and threatened lawsuit etc (someone would have to look up the reasons why he wanted to stay),,,so 80 roles around in spring training and he sticks out like a sore thumb,,,was pretty much a part time player in 80. then ironically both essentially arrived together both dealt in spring training in 81 and burroughs era is over,,,,,,not missed guy

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