From bevy of Baby Braves, McCann is last standing

2002-ud-prospect-premeires-brian-mccann

The Braves’ last postseason appearance came in 2005, when an almost unfathomable 18 rookies helped Atlanta win its 14th consecutive division title. That included 12 rookies who made their major league debut that year. Think about that.

Seventeen of those 18 are gone from the organization now, with Kelly Johnson’s unceremonious non-tender departure Saturday leaving catcher Brian McCann as the only member of the erstwhile “Baby Braves” still with a tomahawk on his jersey.

In retrospect, maybe they were doomed by that bad nickname. Sort of like “Tweeting” is a really bad name, right? And speaking of Twitter, you can follow us on it  @ajcbraves.kelly-johnson

But I mean, come on. Baby Braves? I never liked it, never used it (if one of you finds it in a story with my byline, I’ll come up with a good excuse for how it got there).

The rundown of those 18 rookies reads like a who’s who of … well, I’m not sure exactly.

Wilson Betemit, Blaine Boyer, Frank Brooks….

As a group they were celebrated for their energy, for the “fire” they brought to a big-league team that had become viewed by some as being too button-downed and stoic for its own good, despite all those division titles.

This new band of youngsters had exuberance, people said. They pumped fists, smiled, joked around  with each other on the field and in the dugout. Fans loved it.

Veterans  John Smoltz and Chipper Jones talked about how much the kids meant to the team and how special that division title was, because of how this eclectic bunch had bonded, old guys feeding off the young guys’ spark, a reinvigorated team overcoming a litany of injuries to win another NL East crown.

Times were good.

…Matt Childers, Roman Colon, Kyle Davies…

Yes, this infusion of new blood was going to be the thing that helped set a new course for the Braves. They were going to follow the examples of their elders, the handful of respected still around to show them the way. But at the same time they were going to help raise the volume, create a buzz at the ballpark.

A new era of Braves baseball had begun.betemit

If postseason failures had tarnished –  in the view of some observers — what the Braves had done during their otherwise staggering run of division titles, well, this new group of kids wouldn’t be affected by any of it.

Because they hadn’t been a part of any of that.

To them, there was only pride in being Braves, and in having the opportunity to take the baton and run with it. They would continue the great run of postseason appearances, but they’d go deeper in the playoffs than recent Braves teams, all the while riding a new wave of energy at Turner Field.

… Joey Devine, Jeff Francoeur, Chuck James…

These fresh-faced fellas came from far and wide. But plenty of them also came from right here in Georgia, and that made this whole thing even more special.

You just didn’t see this in major professional sports, a bunch of kids playing together for the hometown team, including a two-sport prep legend from the Atlanta ‘burbs, a couple of country-boy lefties, a stocky catcher with a splendid stroke.0829_mid

They were easy to pull for, this rookie brigade. They had an impossibly upbeat Cuban catcher named Brayan, a plucky Canadian utility man with a hockey player’s name, and a Dominican infielder Braves fans had heard about for years, and whose name we would mispronounce for several more (Beta-meet?).

And there were two Texan outfielders, K.J. and Langy. Those guys had skills.

… Kelly Johnson, Ryan Langerhans, Anthony Lerew…

No, these weren’t your dad’s Braves. More like your dad’s Braves’ sons, if that makes sense. Anyway, they were really young, most of them. Really, really young.

B-Mac and Frenchy were just 21. Crazy kids. Frenchy, the soon-to-be Delta pitchman, on a Sports Illustrated cover with “The Natural” across it. No pressure there.

We also got a look that season at the next absolutely-can’t-miss kid, Marte, the slugging third baseman who’d averaged 20 homers a season in the minors.

…Andy Marte, Macay McBride, Brian McCann…

Yes, they were going to turn the NL East on its ear, weren’t they? The future looked impossibly bright. Youth was served. They were coming along together, getting their feet wet and somehow doing it while helping win a division title.

With this much young, affordable talent on the roster, the Braves might be able to just plug in a free agent or two for the next several seasons. And if they needed to make a trade or two to fill in the gaps, well, they sure had plenty of young pieces that other teams coveted.martecard

The franchise was in great shape because of this wealth of talent the farm system had supplied. This was how it was supposed to work, a demonstration of how the Braves could continue their success in a new era of fiscal restraint.

OK, not to this extreme –  not 18 rookies in a season, for crying out loud. That was a fluke, sure. But the blend of youth and veterans, they were showing how it would be done.

The Braves weren’t among the top-spending teams in the majors anymore, but wouldn’t have to be. Not when they had this much talent coming through the pipeline, and just enough veterans still around to help keep the ship on course.

…Pete Orr, Brayan Pena, Jorge Vasquez.

The Braves won 90 games in 2005, two more than the second-place Phillies.

Tim Hudson and  Smoltz led Atlanta with 14 wins. Next was Jorge Sosa with 13 wins, and Horacio Ramirez with 11. Chris Reitsma had a team-high 15 saves (yes, team-high 15).

Andruw Jones hit 51 homers, drove in 128 runs. Next were Chipper with 21 homers and Adam LaRoche with 20. Marcus Giles had 45 doubles.

The Braves haven’t been back to the postseason since that year, and their 86 wins in 2009 was the closest they’ve come to 90.

The closest to first place that they’ve finished was five games back in ‘07.

Hey, things don’t always turn out as expected.

thepretenders

“TALK OF THE TOWN” by The Pretenders (Chrissie Hynde)

Such a drag to want something sometime

One thing leads to another I know

Was a time wanted you for mine

Nobody knew

You arrived like a day

And passed like a cloud

I made a wish, I said it out loud

Out loud in a crowd

Everybody heard

’twas the talk of the town

*

It’s not my place to know what you feel

I’d like to know but why should i?

Who were you then, who are you now?

Common laborer by night, by day highbrow

Back in my room I wonder, then I

Sit on the bed, look at the sky

Up in the sky

Clouds rearrange

Like the talk of the town

*

Maybe tomorrow, maybe someday

Maybe tomorrow, maybe someday

You’ve changed your place in this world

You’ve changed your place in this world

*

Oh but it’s hard to live by the rules

I never could and still never do

The rules and such never bothered you

You call the shots and they follow

I watch you still from a distance then go

Back to my room, you never know

I want you, I want you but now

Who’s the talk of the town?

5,207 comments Add your comment

Tom O'Hawke

December 14th, 2009
2:27 am

Ahhh, I busted your buns a few seconds too late.

real carl

December 14th, 2009
2:33 am

awesome, new bloggage, staying up late pays off!

Mike S

December 14th, 2009
2:35 am

Always love the late-night bloggage. Thanks DOB!

cadagan

December 14th, 2009
2:37 am

How fitting, KJ’s card has streaks, and Marte’s card has permanent (pro)specs all over it.
Shoulda saw it coming.

bbspell22

December 14th, 2009
2:41 am

Ah to be young…

Tom O'Hawke

December 14th, 2009
2:47 am

DOB, first of all, McFann is sleeping. She would say, (and I hope she doesn’t mind), “thanks for the new blog, chief”.

Secondly, that was a very interesting article. Considering that it’s the middle of the “off season”, very ingenious, man. I’m going to read it again, within the next few days. Great job, you night-owl!

Joshhh...

December 14th, 2009
2:56 am

thanks for the (almost) 3 am article DOB, it gave me something to read right before going to sleep…I appreciate it…

Question for you: I know we’ve heard X. Nady, Podsednik & whatnot but any thoughts on Hank Blalock coming to the Braves to play 1B?…just a thought…

Joshhh...

December 14th, 2009
2:59 am

by the way don’t listen to some of the idiots on here — you’re the best writer at AJC, I always look forward to your articles!

NotAgain

December 14th, 2009
2:59 am

I wish I could have a job like yours DOB to be total crap and still keep my job would be something erik

well you post total crap here and we let you stay, kind of the same thing

zmerk

December 14th, 2009
3:00 am

DOB,

You are too good to us slaving over exams deep into the morning. Its a nice study break early in the night/morning…

Thanks!

Redstick19

December 14th, 2009
3:00 am

erik

December 14th, 2009
2:49 am
not sure why you people are saying great article or very interesting….nothing new…no news…total crap really…..the baby braves were 5 years ago now, that really the best you can do DOB??? really???

…says the man who’s posted three times after reading the story. Now who looks stupid?

Night Ninja

December 14th, 2009
3:00 am

HMMMM, do I detect a little sarcasm in this latest bloggage from our fearless leader?

The youth movement be damned, no wait, maybe Heyward, Schafer, Freeman, Minor, Kimbrel and the rest will still be around in five years. But we know the numbers, actually only 5 to 6 percent of drafted players ever play a day in the major leagues. And about 40 percent of first-round draft picks never make it either. Less than 1 percent ever become superstars.

Tom O'Hawke

December 14th, 2009
3:01 am

“not sure why you people are saying great article or very interesting….nothing new…no news…total crap really…..the baby braves were 5 years ago now, that really the best you can do DOB??? really???

erik, those “people” so far, would be just me. That would be a “person”. Now, if you’re trying to go for the blog’s “A-hole of the Year” award, I’m afraid it’s too late. Dentz has it locked up. I believe Robert has second place. With a strong finish, maybe you can get honorable mention. At least it’s good practice for next year.

CharlieAlphaBravo

December 14th, 2009
3:02 am

For anyone who wants to know what dramatic irony is, it’s that entire article.

nolie

December 14th, 2009
3:03 am

another late night new bloggage. I guess we are gonna hafta officially initiate Dave into our band of midnight marauders.

Redstick19

December 14th, 2009
3:05 am

Tom O: what’s the code for italics on the blog? I knew it last year when new format came along, but post so infrequently that now I’ve forgotten.

David O'Brien

December 14th, 2009
3:05 am

Our friend’s posts got deleted by someone before your responses. So I’m glad you repeated his thoughtful comments, or some others later might have wondered what that was about.

Anyway, thanks Eric, for your patronage.

Tom O'Hawke

December 14th, 2009
3:06 am

Hey, DOB. Redstick19 and I defend you, and then you remove erik (can’ really blame you)? What will the readers think? :shock:

jed

December 14th, 2009
3:08 am

wow…dob posts a 3 am blog and some d-bag’s complaining? what a pathetic troll.

Bobby's Cox

December 14th, 2009
3:12 am

S.I. Had it wrong. Francoeur was not “The Natural”

More like, The Natural “Disaster”

Bobby's Cox

December 14th, 2009
3:14 am

DOB, are you jet-lagged?

Tom O'Hawke

December 14th, 2009
3:18 am

Redstick19

The hardest thing is to tell you, without losing the symbols, after submitting.

Let’s give it a shot. Before what you want italicized, type the lesser than symbol (). When you are finished with what you want italicized, type the lesser than symbol again ().

Redstick19

December 14th, 2009
3:19 am

DOB-
Excuse me if it’s been stated or asked before… but would Toronto be interested in Lowe after they lose Holiday? You heard anything about Aaron Hill being available? Man, he’d be great at 2nd base next year and could move over to 3rd when Chipper retires. Don’t know why the would let him go- but hey, strange things happen with the Jays sometimes.

Tom O'Hawke

December 14th, 2009
3:21 am

Sorry Redstick19, that didn’t make it to the blog. I’ll try something else. If I can’t communicate the answer, there’s always my mentor, McFann.

nolie

December 14th, 2009
3:23 am

Flashforward is loosing steam. Too much talkin’ about their futures and not enough livin’ in the present.

Redstick19

December 14th, 2009
3:23 am

Tom O -
thanks, I’ll give it a <try<

Redstick19

December 14th, 2009
3:25 am

no worries, Tom O’Hawke. I’ll probably just forget it again anyway.

nolie

December 14th, 2009
3:26 am

http://www.w3schools.com/html/html_formatting.asp

Redstick10 the above link will tell you how to format most anything

Bobby's Cox

December 14th, 2009
3:26 am

Bobby Cox just recently outlasted every member from his 1991 NL Champion team, 1995 World Series Champion team, and now 17 of 18!! baby Braves.

Quite a feat.

nolie

December 14th, 2009
3:26 am

there’s always my mentor, McFann.

hey there, I was your mentor

Redstick19

December 14th, 2009
3:29 am

Nolie-
Thanks for the link… and don’t forget to add 9 more digits next time you post my name. (just messin’ with you)

nolie

December 14th, 2009
3:32 am

and don’t forget to add 9 more digits next time you post my name. (just messin’ with you) Redstick19

sorry buddy, I have a nerve problem and don’t type so well at times. I think I got it right this time. I know you were just kidding. ;)

Redstick19

December 14th, 2009
3:33 am

tesing if this really works…

nolie

December 14th, 2009
3:34 am

tesing if this really works…

appears it does ;)

Tom O'Hawke

December 14th, 2009
3:34 am

Redstick19
lets try it this way, I’ll spell it out. If I use the symbols, well you know …..

lesser than(above the comma)—- i —– greater than(above the period), type what you want italicized, [then] lesser than —– /i —– greater than

You surround what you want italicized with the same thing, with one exception. The back end has the slash (below the ?), after the i.

Redstick19

December 14th, 2009
3:35 am

well, lookey there. Nolie , you came through, my man.

Redstick19

December 14th, 2009
3:38 am

appreciate the effort, Tom O. doesn’t appear that you need to include the slash with your formatting… just surround your target with or

nolie

December 14th, 2009
3:38 am

well, lookey there. Nolie , you came through, my man. Redstick19

couldn’t leave you in Tom O’s hands.

nolie

December 14th, 2009
3:40 am

I’m pretty sure if you omit the slash it will not shut off the format and the reast of your text will be bold etc. let’s see

nolie

December 14th, 2009
3:41 am

yup, gotta include the slash to turn it off

Tom O'Hawke

December 14th, 2009
3:42 am

Sorry nolie, I was going to add your mentorship, but I didn’t. My bad. For some reason, I can’t send the link, even though I still have it. When anyone asked me, last bb season, I’d try and then finally ask McFann to send it (she sent it to me to start with).

nolie

December 14th, 2009
3:45 am

When anyone asked me, last bb season, I’d try and then finally ask McFann to send it (she sent it to me to start with). Tom O

go to the link I included above and bookmark it. It will always send Tom

Tom O'Hawke

December 14th, 2009
3:50 am

“couldn’t leave you in Tom O’s hands.”nolie

HA, HA … ya dirty ol …..

Redstick19

December 14th, 2009
3:52 am

Oh, I see. Too bad there isn’t a bold and italics button built into this window, eh? That’d be too easy. Anyways, thanks for the help- time for bed, so I’ll catch up tomorrow.

nolie

December 14th, 2009
3:55 am

Lie To Me was pretty decent last year, I think it has gotten better this season. I like it, always did like Tim Roth.

Tom O'Hawke

December 14th, 2009
3:56 am

nolie, I bookmarked (favorites, on here) that site. Thanks. The site McFann sent me is great for me, but for some reason, I can’t send out the link.

nolie

December 14th, 2009
3:58 am

Starting to get a bit tired of the guy who is the lead in Community
Modern Family on the other hand has stayed strong.

Bobby's Cox

December 14th, 2009
4:01 am

Nolie, my 3-yr Prado-protagonist-partner.

Sucks that everyone thought you were a chick all this time.

With as far as I took my man-crush, they probably all think I swing from the other side. Well done on your end.

Night Ninja

December 14th, 2009
4:05 am

Just for sh!ts and giggles, did you know that David Justice played on twelve straight playoff teams from 1991 through 2002 before retiring. He also played for seven World Series teams while winning twice with the Braves in 1995 and again in 2000 for the Bronx Bombers. Justice also played in three successive World Series from 1995-1997. He made the playoffs with Atlanta, Cleveland, The Yankees and Oakland.

Tom O'Hawke

December 14th, 2009
4:17 am

nolie, I like “Lie to Me”, also. My all-time favorite, or at least way up there, is one of yours, I think, “Boston Legal”. Another one of my all-timers, at least recently, is “Monk”. I’ve never read where you expressed your opinion on this show. Where does that rank with you?

Jurrjens4NLCY

December 14th, 2009
4:18 am

THE BEAR Illegitimi non carborundum,

LMFAO! I was referring to the Chicago Bears, the “s” key always gets stuck on my laptop, and my father gets really aggressive and pissed when the Bears are losing. But thanks for the kind words. :D

Also, hear is what I said about the bet:
I’d be willing to wager that your wrong. If I right, you can’t post here for a whole year, If I’m wrong, I won’t post here for 3 years.

And you can’t post under the name “Laul Pentz” either.

And I’m 110% serious.

And he said:
Jurrjens4NLCY………..while I’m pretty sure I’m right, I’m not willing to wager on it.

So there was no bet, only a proposed bet.

Tom O'Hawke

December 14th, 2009
4:22 am

Night Ninja …. “David Justice played on twelve straight playoff teams”

If that’s accurate, would that be a record? That record has to be modern.

Tom O'Hawke

December 14th, 2009
4:31 am

Jurrjens4NLCY, believe it or not, I was reading the postings back then. You’re correct. The bet (offer by you) was turned down.

My buddy, who hasn’t posted in a while, goes by “Bear”. He said if he posts again, he may change his moniker. He doesn’t want to be confused with the “other bear with the weird latin crap following his name”. He said “that bear should cut down on the caffiene or increase on the hibernation. He’s a nasty bear, not cuddly, like me.” I agreed, to a certain extent.

Frankie Knuckles

December 14th, 2009
5:41 am

That blog was sick. If you wrote a book about the Braves, within your tenure, it would be a must read. Its amazing how many of those prospects went bust. Makes you wonder about trades and untouchables.

wjones

December 14th, 2009
6:16 am

“Bobby Cox just recently outlasted every member from his 1991 NL Champion team, 1995 World Series Champion team, and now 17 of 18!! baby Braves.

Quite a feat.”

Except Chipper is still around from the 95 WS Champs. But he’s the only one left, including coaches.

Dean

December 14th, 2009
6:26 am

Yeah, what did the Braves get in return for all that “talent”? I hope that scout is gone.

By the way, we couldn’t get any return on Johnson, Church, etc? I mean the Braves basically gave Frenchie away. As much as I and others wanted to see him go, he was better than Church minus Church. Geez!

Eric In Albany N.Y.

December 14th, 2009
6:30 am

Dean
By the way, we couldn’t get any return on Johnson, Church, etc? I mean the Braves basically gave Frenchie away. As much as I and others wanted to see him go, he was better than Church minus Church. Geez!

what were we supose to get from a team by trading jeff francoeur… this statement is crazy. you cant get water from a rock. do u honestly think jeff would not have been non tendered the other day? really?

Braves_Fan_RSD

December 14th, 2009
6:39 am

When are people going to realize Francoeur would have been non tendered the other day as well

18 Wheels of Love

December 14th, 2009
7:00 am

Anyone remember the rookie pitcher Schuerholz made untouchable in the deal for JD Drew that ultimately sent St. Louis Wainwright?

Horacio!

Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo….

NCBravesFan

December 14th, 2009
7:04 am

Braves_Fan_RSD: they won’t realize that about Francoeur, just like every time Jesse Chavez gives up a run in 2010 we’ll get the whole “we should have gotten more back when we traded Soriano” routine.

DOB: awesome blog. A good reminder of the hope we put in prospects, and how things usually don’t go according to script in baseball.

Marc in FL

December 14th, 2009
7:06 am

What’s really crazy about the Baby Braves is they all looked so promising coming up and really only one of them so far has earned regular playing time at the ML level. What the hell went wrong?

Jurrjens4NLCY

December 14th, 2009
7:09 am

The easier way to teach him HTML coding it replacing the marks with ( ). That way you can say, its (i) and (/i) or (strong) (/strong). You just replace it

18 Wheels of Love

December 14th, 2009
7:09 am

Think about those 18 prospects and then think about the numerous others that we traded away from our farm system before they reached full potential (it happpens). You could write an entire blog on just the guys we traded away that were/are decent. Salty, Elvis, Ramirez, Meyer, Wainwright, Charlie, Gorkys, LaRoche, Marquis, Dye, Schmidt…

That not neccessarily a bad thing, just pointing out how we have absolutely churned them out over the years.

Marc in FL

December 14th, 2009
7:11 am

Of the Tex trade the only prospect I miss is Elvis, and that’s only cause he woulda made a great trading chip to partner with Lowe, lol.

Jurrjens4NLCY

December 14th, 2009
7:12 am

Another cool HTML code

Jurrjens4NLCY

December 14th, 2009
7:12 am

Aww, the marque code doesn’t work here.

D.Lowe For Who?

December 14th, 2009
7:33 am

Prospects are something you use to trade for proven MLB players.

Want to hear something really scary? Heyward may NOT be the best thing since sliced bread! He may flop as a big leaguer! At some time or another in their minor league careers, we heard that Frenchy and Salty were “can’t miss” prospects. Andy Marte was going to be a superstar, not only considered that by the Braves but by other organizations who were seeking his services. He was considered salvagable by the Red Sox and by the Indians.

DOB’s story just points out what the odds are that any given player is going to be a big league star.

Considering all the hype and bluster about the Braves prospects that was out there prior to the 2005 season, I don’t think anyone can honestly say that Brian McCann was considered the odds on favorite to carve out a solid major lea

D.Lowe For Who?

December 14th, 2009
7:34 am

solid major league career.

D.Lowe For Who?

December 14th, 2009
7:38 am

So don’t fall in love with ANY prospect to the point of not being willing to listen when you are offered a deal for a proven big league talent. The odds that a specific minor leaguer, no matter how “can’t miss” they are will actually pan out as a big league star, are slim.

braves4ever

December 14th, 2009
7:51 am

DOB , as off season reading goes that was a good read (thank you) and a smart reminder of what we all talked about way-back-then . I think someone once made a country song “Baby things change” (or something like that), and boy did they.
Since you got all the Christmas presents wrapped and loaded in the car you had a busy day blog and all ,should stir up some very interesting posts today, kudos.

Mixxo

December 14th, 2009
7:58 am

Baby Braves huh? Yeah, we see how that worked out alright. :roll:

What a joke.

sidslidkid

December 14th, 2009
8:16 am

Nice story DOB. Your blog hasn’t slowed down at all this offseason. Hopefully your editor/boss is seeing the popularity too.

dpelfrey

December 14th, 2009
8:20 am

“So don’t fall in love with ANY prospect to the point of not being willing to listen when you are offered a deal for a proven big league talent. The odds that a specific minor leaguer, no matter how “can’t miss” they are will actually pan out as a big league star, are slim.”

There’s a difference between hype and skills. I would dare to say that most of the top prospects in baseball get more hype than anything. But when unquestionable skills come along (Griffey, ARod, Chipper) you can’t help but to notice that and I think that’s what people are seeing in Heyward. I think he is much for skill than hype. Just my opinion.

dpelfrey

December 14th, 2009
8:22 am

Anyone that knows baseball could tell that Frenchy did not have a good swing from the day he was called up.

Couch Tater

December 14th, 2009
8:24 am

Baby Braves, We’ll see how it works.

Couch Tater

December 14th, 2009
8:25 am

uh..without Roy clark.

sidslidkid

December 14th, 2009
8:29 am

“Baby Braves huh? Yeah, we see how that worked out alright. What a joke.” – Mixxo

I wouldn’t call these guys a joke. This seems to be a pretty successful group. 3 out of the 18 (Joey Devine, Francoeur, and McCann) still have key/starting positions five years later. And Kelly may very well land a starting gig this year somewhere. 4 out of the 18 ain’t too bad. I’m not sure what the normal percentage is, but I think the Braves would be happy if 20% of the rookies they call up are still starting five years later.

Chris from the Rock

December 14th, 2009
8:43 am

Speaking of Chuck James, how is he doing on his rehab? Is he going to try to come back this year? And wouldn’t the Braves try to sign him to a minor league deal?

CB

December 14th, 2009
8:46 am

Is it ok to dream ? Albert Pujols puts up stats that we can only dream of for a Braves player,over his career he has avg. 41hrs,.334avg,.427obp,slugging.658,rbis124,and ops1.055. We have the #1 prospect in baseball who will be 20yrs old in spring training. Would anybody love to see a career like Pujols? I know, as Susan Boyle sings “I dream a dream”.

sidslidkid

December 14th, 2009
8:51 am

Wow, a Susan Boyle quote… even more scary is that I know who Susan Boyle is.

And yeah, it would be just fine with me if Heyward turns out to be an Albert Pujols.

ChipChop

December 14th, 2009
8:57 am

I think some of the new “Baby Braves” are getting ready to get opportunities with the big club with Kelly Johnson and Ryan Church being non-tendered. So far, there has been no movement by the Braves at adding new players to the roster so it looks good for the young players. I’m excited about that. I just don’t like to see older players who aren’t performing hold down roster spots while young, hungry players wait and wait and wait. It will be an interesting year in Atlanta in 2010. I am anxious to see who Frank Wren acquires to fill out the roster as younger players are mixed in.

Don

December 14th, 2009
9:04 am

One problem seems to be that the Braves do a poor job of developing great talent. In the minors they seem to be stressing hitting with power rather than trying to teach, emphasize, demand the development of making consisitant solid contact and then letting the development of power come. And then when they reach the majors, it is a complete disaster under Bobby Cox who does not teach, emphasize, demand, develop this at all. Thus, it seems only to be the rare individual who has the insight to develop this on his own who develops and becomes a really good hitter.

Buzz Killington

December 14th, 2009
9:06 am

Next in line for overhyped Braves’ prospects that fall flat on their faces: Jason Heyward, Freddie Freeman, and Jordan Schafer. Schafer already has a head start.

CB

December 14th, 2009
9:06 am

ChipChop, I have been of the belief that the Braves should go ahead and bring up the youth for the outfield-go with a McLouth, Diaz and Heyward with Schafer as your 4th outfielder and platoon player. I would really prefer a difference making outfielder like Holliday but I don’t want to settle for a Cameron type signing. At 1B I hope we can resign Laroche are get a big bat through trade. Obviously Lowe or Vazquez has to go.

sidslidkid

December 14th, 2009
9:07 am

Don, I get the feeling you’re not a fan of Bobby. I know it sounds crazy, but thats just how it comes off when I read your post sometimes.

TennesseePaul

December 14th, 2009
9:08 am

Sheeeesh. I forgot Andy Marte was called up that year. I still can’t believe we traded that kid for Edgar Renteria and cash! He was “supposed to be” the next big thing. I recall weeping and gnashing of teeth when he was traded. I was even blogging back then. Damn. Have I been typing on this thing for that long? … yes… yes I have.

Rhett

December 14th, 2009
9:09 am

DOB – is it just me or does the insufferable d**chebag quotient seem abnormally high for an off season blog? I’m sure you’re used to that kind of garbage at this point, but for what it’s worth, you do a great job. Don’t know of many beat writers that are half as dedicated to their blogs.

ncscoots

December 14th, 2009
9:14 am

4 out of the 18 ain’t too bad.

“ain’t too bad” is an understatement. The 1 out of 18 still around (McCann) is about as good as it gets. Minor leaguers fail…not exactly a newsflash. That the Braves had that many kids who were worth even a ML look is astounding in itself, and that one of them turned into a perennial All-Star is all the return you could ask.

Only bloggers would have thought that all those kids would work out. I can feel pretty confident in saying that nobody in the Braves FO thought that.

Rock On......

December 14th, 2009
9:18 am

Well I am pretty sure the next Atlanta youth movement won’t be 18 players but I feel confident in 1. Heyward will start in RF for Atlanta on opening day 2010.

DAP

December 14th, 2009
9:24 am

sidslidkid

December 14th, 2009
9:25 am

Rock On……, I agree. We’re going to need big numbers out of Heyward if we want to make a run at the playoffs. I think an avg of .280 with 15 hr’s and 75 rbi’s is doable for him. I still haven’t seen him play other than spring training last year, but his numbers look great.

DAP

December 14th, 2009
9:27 am

2005 was a fun year. having the rookies up was great, and it definitely helped, but that was the year andruw jones picked this team up, and carried it to another division title. thats something special to watch.and, bobby got his most recent manager of the year award.

Rock On......

December 14th, 2009
9:29 am

Buzz….Heyward may fall flat on his face but nothing has indicated to this point that is remotely going to happen. Heyward would most likely bat 7th in the Braves lineup and while they have high hopes for him he would not be looked upon to carry the team. Bringing in someone like a Gonzalez to play 1st would supply that power allowing Heyward to be brought along at a less-pressurized pace. Who knows, but I am betting Heyward will start more like Andruw Jones as opposed to Jordan Shaefer.

Rock On......

December 14th, 2009
9:33 am

sidslidkid….yep, I think you are pretty close to correct on the numbers for Heyward hopefully with a high 3’s for OBP.

chip off the ol block

December 14th, 2009
9:35 am

Rock On: ya i think this year willl be another year where we call up the boys and see what they can do, last year K Medlin and Tommy H, year before JJ
it’ll be great to see what they do with what we’ve got, the talent is there so lets make it happen

NC Braves Fan

December 14th, 2009
9:37 am

Don: boy I bet you’re just a bundle of joy around the holiday table. You come off like the grumpy uncle who spins conspiracy theories and scares the kids.

But other than that you seem like a really good guy. :lol:

18 Wheels of Love

December 14th, 2009
9:43 am

I know a few folks who predicted McCann to be the one with the better career. This dude being one of them.

McFann O

December 14th, 2009
9:54 am

Tom O’Hawke She would say, (and I hope she doesn’t mind), “thanks for the new blog, chief”.

Of course I don’t mind. But…that’ll be 50¢, please. ;)

Hey, and I like being referred to as a “mentor”! :P And just to live up to the name a little better:

http://img40.imageshack.us/img40/1804/snapshot20090527212048.jpg

There’s the link. I wonder why it won’t let you send it… :?

TDub

December 14th, 2009
9:58 am

Gad, what a depressing article. Makes you rethink your dedication to prospects, though, since so few of them pan out. I was one who had bigger hopes for McCann than Francouer too – I saw them both play in Rome in the same game, and McCann’s approach just seemed more polished at the time, though I got as caught up in Frenchy’s first year as anyone.

McFann O

December 14th, 2009
10:00 am

OK, now let me add my own, “Thanks for the new Blog, Chief!” Really enjoyed it…like the way it was written. Kinda sad in a way, though. Of course, there’s some serious pride boiling up inside me, too, because my mann is indeed the best of the bunch.

But my sister liked Johnson the best. Lucky for me again, though, that I didn’t have to be the one to break the news. No, an uncle took care of that last night. Course, he didn’t know Johnson was my sister’s favorite, but still…I wasn’t gonna know how to say it, especially since my fave could wind up in the HOF someday. Makes it harder…but that doesn’t mean BMac has to tone it down on the stats or anything…

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