andres

The 20 worst A-Braves players: #1 Andres Thomas

It was difficult omitting Corky Miller, who had 5 hits as B-Mac’s back-up in 2008 and batted .138 in 87 AB’s as a Brave. But how do you exclude Andres Thomas, the 7th SS to make our register? (Go here for the complete list.)

Stat awareness works for and against Andres, a Brave from 1985-90. I was a kid when he played, back when hitters were measured solely by batting average, homers and RBI. For infielders like Andres, it was all about errors, and he made a ton. Andres led all shortstops in errors in 1988 and was the runner-up in ’89. In ’87 he was charged with 20 errors despite appearing in only 82 games. Not good, though not as bad as it appeared at the time, as Andres ranked tops in range factor among all shortstops in ’87 and in the top 5 the next two seasons.

Conversely, Andres was generally thought of as productive bat for a SS. In the days before ‘roids became so widespread a .252-13-68 line, Andres’ line in ’88, looked pretty good. There were persistent rumblings of a Thomas for Barry Bonds swap back then, though I can’t imagine Pittsburgh ever seriously pondered it.

Andres was the anti-Bonds when it came to OBP, a basic stat today but one that was largely ignored in the ’80s. Good thing for Andres, because his was disproportionately awful.

He walked 59 times in 6 years with the Braves. Freddie, Uggla and Bourn each accrued more bases on balls in 2012. Andres was consistent, at least, never walking more than 14 times in a season, which explains his career .255 OBP, lower even than fellow 20 worsters Pat Rockett and Luis Gomez. His lifetime offensive WAR was -3.9 may not mean much until you compare it to those of Jason Bay and Jeff Francoeur, who in 2012 ranked near the bottom of the league with -0.8 and -1.2, respectively.

Andres, who had become the face off the franchise’s low point in Atlanta, was released following the 1990 season. His departure and the glory days that followed were no coincidence.

 

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The 20 worst A-Braves players: #16 Omar Moreno

When your game is built on speed and you manage but one SB in 58 games, it’s time to look for another line of work.

Fortunately for Omar Moreno, the ’86 Braves were desperate and their manager thought it was still 1979.

Chuck  Tanner begged GM Bobby Cox to sign Moreno to a minor league contract prior to Spring Training, and Bobby acquiesced. On a team bereft of speed, the ex-Pirate might have some value off the bench.

Instead, he ended up starting 78 games, mostly in RF, where he committed five errors. He did lead the Braves with 17 steals, though he was caught 16 times. Moreno wasn’t on base much, hitting .234 and walking 21 times, good for a .276 OBP.

As a washed-up 33-year-old who was once pretty decent , Omar was in many ways the face of the ’86 Braves.

Be thankful it’s not 1986, Braves fans.