Braves’ talent on the farm has dried up

 

Pitcher Kenshin Kawakami is the Braves' latest addition over a product from the "farm." (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Pitcher Kenshin Kawakami is the Braves' latest addition -- not from the "farm" system. (Curtis Compton / ccompton@ajc.com)

Once upon a time, as fairy tales usually begin, the Braves were a baseball team that was home-bred, carefully incubated in the farm system, and nurtured all the way up to the major league level. There they won championships and pennants and played in the World Series, one of which they won. And they left their names scrolled on the walls of the ball park where they played, and in team and league record books. Then something began to change after the season of 2005, and the once-flourishing franchise has been groping ever since.

Now, the Braves’ “farm” system reaches from Venezuela to Japan. Deals are made, faces change, and only this season have they reached deep into their jeans to play a hand in the free agent rat-race. A payroll that once was held around the $80-million level, by order of the McScrooge ownership, has now zoomed to about $97 million. They even splurged $60 million on Derek Lowe, a 35-year-old they niftily lifted from the Dodgers. They traded for Javier Vazquez, an $11-million-a-year pitcher, and then they really hit the high road. They invaded Japan.

Kenshin Kawakami is a good-natured 33-year-old pitcher, and I say that without understanding a word he says. When you hire one Japanese player, you get two Japanese. You must have an interpreter, in this case Daichi Takasue, also most accommodating. Any interview is sort of an Edgar Bergen-Charlie McCarthy act. You ask a question, Daiche asks Kenshin, Kenshin replies, Daiche repeats what he said. Kenshin hits well, as pitchers go, and I asked Daiche if he was a good hitter in Japan. Kenshin smiled shyly and in translation, “He wouldn’t want to say. It would look like he’s bragging.”

When I asked him his view on American umpires, he said (so Daiche said), “the plate seems to be narrower over here,” and illustrated with his hands. It does give us a variety we haven’t had in a Braves clubhouse before.

Should the Braves call up top pitching prospect Tommy Hanson?

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So far, the Braves have hovered around .500, but I fear they’ve just about found their level. It’s not the pitching; it’s the run-making. The best prospect of a leadoff man was traded to Detroit, Josh Anderson, a .300 hitter with base-stealing speed and center field experience in the majors. Jordan Schafer probably would have benefited from at least a half-season in triple-A. He’s not a leadoff type. Josh Anderson is, and he’s hitting well in Detroit. There’s a problem at second base right now, but I’m a believer in Kelly Johnson. They’re suffering the loss of Brian McCann, which nobody has figured into the equation. And Chipper Jones can be handled — just don’t pitch to him.

We saw an illustration while the Cardinals were in town of how a bad deal can draw blood over the years. The Braves didn’t simply trade Adam Wainwright to get J.D. Drew for a year, but they also threw in Jason Marquis, now a $9.8-million starter in Colorado. That deal will be haunting this team for years, as will the deal that sent five golden talents to Texas for a season of Mark Teixeira — who, as a Yankee, is currently hitting more than l00 points below Casey Kotchman. Three are on the Rangers roster and a fourth, pitcher Neftali Feliz, may be the best of them all, Bobby Cox said. Right now he’s tuning up on the Oklahoma City farm.

Gone are the rich old farm days that gave us John Smoltz, Tom Glavine, Steve Avery, Mercker, Stanton, Wohlers, Lemke, Blauser, Chipper … a bumper crop of farm products. Just pick up the phone and call Richmond. Now, it’s just a matter of calling a cab in Lawrenceville — if there’s any help there to be called for.

191 comments Add your comment

Bobby Cox

May 3rd, 2009
1:23 pm

Gee, Skip. I can’t agree with Furman’s article. Our farm system has been prosperous. Just check out the rosters of other teams, especially Texas. I predict with a little coaching up by Tony LaRussa and Dave Duncan, and Blaine Boyer will be the “lights out” closer we always knew he could be.

Hillbilly Deluxe

May 3rd, 2009
1:35 pm

The Braves are going through a rebuilding phase they just aren’t admitting it publicly.

rich brave

May 3rd, 2009
1:50 pm

FURMAN doesn’t need a bailout. He works for free. Tighten up BISHER. No Social Security COLA’s for the next few years.

rich brave

May 3rd, 2009
1:53 pm

Tampa G:

Maybe NOT seeing WAINWRIGHT as a starter in the majors is a problem within the BRAVES organization which needs to be corrected.

John

May 3rd, 2009
3:08 pm

This is the most inane thing I have ever seen posted on this site, and that includes the massive amount of dribble that seems to come out of Terence Moore’s computer.

You clearly don’t know baseball.
You clearly don’t know the Braves.

I could go into the myriad big time free agent contributors to the dynasty, but that has already been done. I could go into the fact that the only real difference between Anderson and Schafer is Schafer’s ability to hit something other than singles, but that’s already been done.

Please if you are going to write something about the composition of a team, try to actually look at the composition of the team. Six of eight starting position players were drafted and developed by the braves. I’d be willing to bet that beats almost any team in baseball.

You’re an idiot and really ought to be fired for posting something this stupid.

Andy

May 3rd, 2009
3:25 pm

I am sorry, but why on earth do they let this nice man write anymore? If he wants to write a column, smile and nod and accept it, and put the hieroglyphics-filled papyrus in a drawer. It’s sad and embarrassing.

“When you hire one Japanese player, you get two Japanese.” “It does give us a variety we haven’t had” – tell me you didn’t cringe a little.

This doesn’t even go into his laughable assessment of the baseball side of things.

Though yes, the Teixiera trades were atrocious – to give up that much for him, and then get essentially only Kotchman in return – ouch.

RF, C, SS, CF – all recent farm products and good to great major league players. Hanson coming up. (I like Kelly too, but maybe just now he’s not the shining example to point to.) What seems like a fairly loaded farm system – Freeman, Heyward, Gorkys, etc.

We fleeced Detroit on the Jurrjens trade, and while not technically a farm-system product, we traded a veteran for a young power arm and then filled the veteran’s position with somebody from the farm system.

I’m just assuming that Mr Bisher isn’t reading our comments, but I’m hoping someone at AJC is. Unless he is the editor’s grandfather, or has some compromising information on someone, or an iron-clad contract requiring you to print whatever dribbles out of his keyboard, please spare us all the embarrassment and stop running his stuff. Just because he was a good writer in the past does not give him license to blather on indefinitely.

varoadrunner

May 3rd, 2009
3:35 pm

Let’s niminate Bennett for “reliever if the year”…… He still escapes with a 0.77 era. That’s sick when you look at the GAME

IUlia

May 3rd, 2009
6:11 pm

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Shamus Thacker

May 3rd, 2009
6:26 pm

In order for Bisher to see what we’ve written, he’d have to know how to sign on to a computer. No way.

Any scintilla of respect he’s gained from 100-years of reporting has been lost with this one piece of un-researched garbage.

If he retires today, it’s one article too late.

Take off the Rose-colored Glasses !

May 3rd, 2009
6:55 pm

Lose 2/3 to Houston? Pathetic ! Wren is probably entertaining offers for Hanson and Heyward right now, for some washed up reliever or slugger !

hop

May 3rd, 2009
9:52 pm

for all the baseball experts who are drinking the braves front office cool-aid i.e. jd and scottsbraves.

the facts are the facts:

each one of the braves farm teams are below 500 along with the parent club have little offense.

check the standings and yes, the farm records do reflect to some degree what the braves have on the farm.

gwinnett 10-14, mississippi 10-12,rome 10-14,myrtle beach 9-15.

maybe, the old man knows more about the braves than you homers do!

the braves will not be in the race this year and yes the are only three out,that is because no one in the east is playing very well,but that will change.

the braves are no better than fourth in the east.

keep on drinking the nonsense from the braves and you will have a horrible summer.

i can’t wait to hear the excuses made by the mr wrens in july when the braves are out of it!

rich brave

May 3rd, 2009
10:37 pm

hop:

You suck. BRAVES are better then the past three years, but no better than 86 wins tops right now. Raising the payroll to the 121 million strata will bring in a couple of heavy hitters next year, and put the ATLANTAN’s into first place.

Bob

May 4th, 2009
3:10 am

Check here for a more accurate account of the Braves Minor League affiliates-

http://minorsandmajors.com

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

May 4th, 2009
8:03 am

Oh no HOP that can’t be right cause Gwinnett has Charlie Morton & Jo Jo Reyes who Glove thinks are some sort of major league talents. They have to have a winning record….I don’t put this on Wren though, he did not give in on the Peavy talk but it is JS fault. I do agree that the Braves have had one of the top minor league systems but at this time we have traded away too many prospects for it to be considered top 10. There are no future everyday players in Gwinnett. And only one starter and 1 possible reliever.

Bank Walker, Texas Ranger

May 4th, 2009
8:10 am

Bob, great site thanks

bakerman

May 4th, 2009
9:50 am

We will not ever win with Kelly Johnson at second.

Heavy Medlen

May 4th, 2009
10:54 am

There should be some standards when it comes to what you write. Do some research. This is crap.

Mitchell

May 4th, 2009
12:01 pm

Trading Josh Anderson was one more miss-step that has the Braves stumbling towards mind-numbing mediocrity.

glove51

May 4th, 2009
12:26 pm

To Walker, Texas Idiot: Reyes is pitching in the najors right now. He will almost certainly be a better pitcher than Bisher’s beloved Jason Marquis. How about you go back and check Tom Glavine’s records his first couple of years and let me know if he struggled a bit while learning to pitch at the major league level or check out Greg Maddux’s early Cub numbers.

Most (or ALL of) everyone who is in the business of evaluting farm systems places the Braves in the top 10.

Most people who evaluate ML talent believe Morton to be a 3-5 slot ML pitcher. If he was a polished ML starter TODAY he would be in Atlanta or would have been traded. His has K’d 30 in 26 innings, but does have 4.15 ERA.

Hanson and Medlen are no-brainers, so probably even you understand their high ceiling major league ptotential.

Even Parr and Redmond are considered fringe ML starters.

Again, the BEST prospects at everyday positions spend little or no time at AAA, unless they are completely blocked at the major league level. Is tht too difficult for you to udnerstand? That said, Brandon Jones and Blanco have teh ptoentila to be everyday major leaguers in the right situation.

We overpaid for Tex, no two ways about it, but Neftali Perez is really the only player we lost that we are likely to lament losing in the long run.

winterville

May 4th, 2009
12:32 pm

What a stupid column.

Run Heap Run

May 4th, 2009
12:51 pm

Agree with Ken Stallings (May 2nd 8:45 pm)

Just because you disagree doesn’t mean you have to act like a bunch of classless, ill-mannered rednecks. Shame on you.

Hoosier Aaron

May 4th, 2009
1:49 pm

I do not believe the Braves Farm System has “dried up” – especially in terms of position players. However, I’m very concerned with the lack of effective pitchers we are developing.

I have a very good understanding of “Top Prospects” – but those need to translate into “Wins” at the Major League level.

Pitching has been the backbone of this organization for almost 20 years – but I’d like to see us start getting our “Prospects” on the mound.

While I’m not pointing a finger at McDowell – I do believe that Leo’s philosphy of development cannot be disputed – in terms of results.
The job of a pitching coach is more than just teaching mechanics and certain pitches. Pitchers must have a direction (if you will)…it’s more than just executing pitches. I could write a week on this so – I’ll just say….I’m concerned that we are no longer developing effective Major League pitchers.

STRETCH

May 4th, 2009
2:56 pm

As Hillbilly Deluxe said, they are going through a rebuilding stage and have been since those guys up in Colorado took over.

But even with all the talent they had since 1991, they only have one ring? I was watching MLB network the other day and they ran that 1996 series with the Yankees and to this day i wonder what happened after being up 2-0 and losing that series. Then in the 99 series, they had the 2 best pitchers go back to back, but left Cox left them in the game too long and they eventually got swept.

We all know that Liberty Media doesnt care and the front office is clueless since JS left. Now add those two facts with that one common denominator of all those past post-season failures…Bobby Cox.

2005 NL Division Series Houston Astros Lost, 1-3

2004 NL Division Series Houston Astros Lost, 2-3

2003 NL Division Series Chicago Cubs Lost, 2-3

2002 NL Division Series San Francisco Giants Lost, 2-3

2001 NL Championship Series Arizona Diamondbacks Lost, 1-4

NL Division Series Houston Astros Won, 3-0

2000 NL Division Series St. Louis Cardinals Lost, 0-3

1999 World Series New York Yankees Lost, 0-4
NL Championship Series New York Mets Won, 4-2
NL Division Series Houston Astros Won, 3-1

1998 NL Championship Series San Diego Padres Lost, 2-4
NL Division Series Chicago Cubs Won, 3-0

1997 NL Championship Series Florida Marlins Lost, 2-4
NL Division Series Houston Astros Won, 3-0

1996 World Series New York Yankees Lost, 2-4
NL Championship Series St. Louis Cardinals Won, 4-3
NL Divison Series Los Angeles Dodgers Won, 3-0

1995 World Series Cleveland Indians Won, 4-2
NL Championship Series Cincinnati Reds Won, 4-0
NL Division Series Colorado Rockies Won, 3-1

1993 NL Championship Series Philadelphia Phillies Lost, 2-4

1992 World Series Toronto Blue Jays Lost, 2-4
NL Championship Series Pittsburgh Pirates Won, 4-3

1991 World Series Minnesota Twins Lost, 3-4
NL Championship Series Pittsburgh Pirates Won, 4-3

1982 NL Championship Series St. Louis Cardinals Lost, 0-3

But let Cox tell it all, like he did about the pitching yesterday…everythings fine.

TT44

May 4th, 2009
5:47 pm

With the talent (we) the Braves have had for the past ten to twelve yrs. We should have more than one World Series banner to hang up. You know, I know BC is a players coach and they like him so the media says…but, with Smoltz, Glavine, Avery, Maddux, heck, I couldve coached that team. I really lost alot of faith w/ BC when he sent Charlie L. in to pitch to Kirby P. in the W.Series, If I knew Charlie’s best pitch was the circle change, I KNOW KIRBY PUCKETT DID AND HE SURE DID OVER THE CENTER FIELD FENCE! GO FIGURE…..DANG IT BRAVES, GET SOME INTENSITY!!, WHERE IS THE SWAGGER? GET WITH IT FELLAS, AT LEAST PLAY ABC BASEBALL…….HECK YALL ARE KILLING US FANS WITH MEDIOCRE BASEBALL! TT44

Alan

May 4th, 2009
7:13 pm

I really hate to say this but I really do think that Bobby is managing as though he was still in the middle of last year when all we could do was complain about injuries to the starting pitching.

I also think that he needs to be doing a lot more coaching instead of being Mr. Nice Guy, their are times that professional atheletes need a good kick in the butt, maybe its now.

N8

May 4th, 2009
8:06 pm

Perhaps your writing skills have “dried up”. Assuming you ever had any.

Smoltz wasn’t our farm product you old senile coot. Do some frickin research before you type. Hell, most of the bloggers on here do more research than you do… and you get PAID for it. Talk about wasted money.

Let me fire off a few names that had a whole helluva lot to do with the Braves winning in the 90’s:

Sid Bream, Terry Pendleton, Rafael Belliard, Alejandro Pena, Greg Maddux, Fred McGriff, Marquis Grissom, Mike Devereux, Luis Polonia, Denny Neagle, Andres Galarraga, Walt Weiss, Russ Ortiz, Paul Byrd, Mike Hampton (yes – he once helped), Gary Sheffield, Brian Jordan, Kenny Lofton, Michael Tucker, Keith Lockhart, Vinny Castilla (the 2nd time around), Johnny Estrada, JD Drew.

Would you like me to keep going?

Man alive are you worthless. Next thing you know, your “partner” in crime Terrance Moore will write an article claiming the Braves farm system is racist.

You two need to find new jobs, because you aren’t very good at the one you do. DOB blows you guys away. You guys should ask him for some help.

You could certainly use it.

Baracked the vote!

May 4th, 2009
8:12 pm

The Braves must have a great farm system. I guess that is the reason they lost 90 games last year and their best pitcher came over from the Tigers.

billy mccawley

May 4th, 2009
10:35 pm

For the first time, the braves have a high draft selection in june. They really need to pick a third basemen of the future.

N8

May 5th, 2009
12:14 am

“The Braves must have a great farm system. I guess that is the reason they lost 90 games last year and their best pitcher came over from the Tigers.”

The problem with a great farm system, in theory, is that you won’t know you had a great farm system until you are already winning.

You use the 90 losses last year as proof that the farm system stinks?

In 1988 they lost 106 games, followed by 97 losses in 1989 and another 97 losses in 1990.

I think the farm system that they were using in the late 80’s seemed to do “OK” for them, in the 90’s, huh?

NOW, if you want to start talking about Bobby and the coaching staff getting the most out of these “top prospects”, that’s a conversation for another day. But according to all the pundits and experts (Sorry Furman, you’re NOT in that group), the Braves farm system is stacked and would be more stacked, had JS not went after Tex.

I would be more inclined to say our GM “magic” along with what magic Bobby once had, has dried up, not our scouting and farm system.

PMC

May 5th, 2009
12:37 am

Yeah, unfortunately it’s been 8 years since they won a postseason series.

They aren’t entertaining enough to draw anymore. They can call up Hanson all they want but until they find a new outfield capable of bringing some sort of respectable presense at the plate day in and day out…wait make that outfield AND infield…. we are pretty much going to be mediocre.

If the Tex deal did anything it exposed how thin our position players in the farm system were and it showed just how great a hitter and ballplayer Chipper Jones really is when someone (ANYONE even good players who don’t really play until after the AS Break) are lined up behind him to force teams to pitch to him.

I think they just had a bad waive of luck with some of the guys though. Francouer is turning it around. Schaffer is essentially triple A talent at this point. Left Field is waiting for Heyward to take it. First Base SHOULD be Freddie Freeman’s as early as next year…

The braves… DESPERATELY need some guys to pan out and not be the next Kelly Johnson.

Bob Smith

May 5th, 2009
1:52 am

Guess Bisher forgot about Gorkys Hernandez-

http://minorsandmajors.com

Mike

May 5th, 2009
2:05 am

The Braves have “given away the farm” the last seveal years. They may be re-stocking now, but over the years they have foolishly let some really good players go. The giveaways for Texiera were terrible. The Braves were never going to keep Tex, his agent was Boros. A future catcher & SS are given away. Incredible talent (both “home grown” & “traded for”) has been allowed to leave over the last several years – talent that is still playing, and could have kept the Braves leading the division if retained. Furcal & Betemit to the Dodgers, for players that did not even make the team. Jermaine Dye, Jason Schmidt, JD Drew, Gary Sheffield, Adam LaRoche, Andruw Jones ( yes Andruw – he just needed a hitting coach)Jason Marquis, Kevin MIllwood, Paul Byrd, etc. The list of bone headed trades is enormous. I’ve heard so much about how smart the GM was – maybe he was just lucky when he got Smoltz, Maddux, & Glavine. He wasn’t able to keep them – he allowed them all to leave. So much for loyalty, which by the way is a two war street. I do think the Braves are developing players, but the only impact player I think they have in minors is Heyward. Great kid – will be a real asset to the team and city. A Ryan Howard type of impact player. We better enjoy him – he’ll be a Yankee, Met, or Dodger in no time. No way the Braves get agressive and sign him to a long term deal.

The Dust

May 5th, 2009
2:48 am

Bottom line is this. The Braves were too good for too long. Drafting is the issue. When you draft in the upper 20s every year, you’re not going to get MLB talent. How did the Braves stock up on names like Smoltz, Glavine and Justice? It’s simple: they sucked during the ’80s. It may be another decade (a new owner, a new GM, a new Manager, new coaches) before the Braves get back to the playoffs. Time to pull up a chair and wait ladies and gentlemen. Marlins know how to build teams (win a World Title once every decade with a completely new team from the farm). Phillies have a terrific team offensively and play in the best homer park in baseball. The Mets will find ways to buy a playoff spot. Perhaps one day the Nationals…..nah.

Dave

May 5th, 2009
5:39 am

The problem is Shuerholz did not know when to shift gears he thought we were one or two players away and was proved wrong. At first the Braves were a team that spent a fair amount to get players they wanted and players wanted to come here and even stay. Then as our winning started to falter, we were put on a budget, and the rent a player for one or two years never wanted to stay. The last few trades did not work out we should have started the rebuilding earlier and we might have been further along than we are by now. Hopefully if these players in the minors leagues do reach potential in one or two years we may start to contend again then. I think the new GM Frank Wren is facing reality he got us some affordable pitching which is not the problem it is run production as injuries have exposed our thin depth of position players. We have to weather the storm and know who we are we are a pretender waiting for our young position players to reach the majors. The last few years depth has been our undoing when injuries hit we have no answer.

Tokyo Bravo

May 5th, 2009
7:38 am

Sad to see a once fine writer mail something in like this. Given the Braves pipeline of players like Hanson, Heyward, Freeman and others coming along, “dried up” doesn’t really sound right, does it?

Selah, you lazy journalist.

PMC

May 5th, 2009
9:15 am

Perhaps the coaching…. specifically the Hitting Coach… could be better.

I love TP for what he did for us as a player… I’m still not seeing ANY RESULTS at all that are relayed to him. All these young players are coming up only to continue to struggle with inconsistancy.

If they are “working on it” where are the results? How long should it take to get results? Kelly Johnson has too much talent to be this bad.

Justafan

May 5th, 2009
10:38 am

Thanks Mr. Bisher and Texas Ranger. Yes, take a trip across town and check out the AAA team….not much there brother! Maybe 5 0r 6 in A an AA.in the Braves future 2 are 3 years away. JS had a great ST but 7 weeks doesn’t make a ML player. Another year at AAA would have helped him where as this year may do more harm.

Some of you (know it all) would take up for management no matter what. You deserve what you got…nothing!

ChopChamps95

May 5th, 2009
11:25 am

While I don’t agree the farm system is dried up, it was way better a long time ago. Heyward and Freeman will be great one day. Schafer will be good, not great. He’ll never be the leadoff hitter they envisioned him to be and he’ll never have 25+ home run power unless he hits the weights everyday for the next 3 year or starts juicin’ again (which by the way produced those 10 home runs he had last year when he returned from his steroid suspension). However, with all the good players the Braves do have now in their farm system, some are bound to go elsewhere. Its just a Braves front office tradition JS started (giving up good talent for guys who either won’t stick around long or who don’t do anything for the team). Let Marquis and Wainwright go for JD Drew, 5 top prospects for 1 calendar year of Teixeira. This is also the reason why the Braves have had 6 different right-fielders since 1997 after trading Jermaine Dye for Michael Tucker and Keith Lockhart (what a joke that turned out to be).

Baracked the vote!

May 5th, 2009
5:20 pm

N8, I have no reason to believe the Braves have the same level of talent in the farm system today that had in the late 80s early 90s. Take a look at what the farm system has produced in the last few years. Yes, the Braves field a lot of homegrown players and it has resulted in a steady decline in wins. Also, take a look at Baseball America’s recent top prospects for the Braves. not exactly a group of all-stars
2001 Wilson Betemit, ss Yankees
2002 Wilson Betemit, ss Yankees
2003 Adam Wainwright, rhp Cardinals
2004 Andy Marte, 3b Indians
2005 Jeff Francouer, of Braves
2006 Jarrod Saltalamacchia, c Rangers
2007 Jarrod Saltalamacchia, c Rangers

Cameron

May 5th, 2009
6:18 pm

This article makes little sense to me. First off John Smoltz isn’t our farm product, he was in the Tiger’s farm system. Our system is full of great players who are only a year or so away from contributing. We have a chance to contend this year, what more can you ask for without being conceited?

Jesse

May 5th, 2009
6:51 pm

I would say the list of my favorite things in the world goes something like this: (1) Chocolate; (2) Sunshiny May days; (3) Latently racist sports journalists. Congratulations Mr. Bisher, you made the list!

Roy

May 5th, 2009
7:45 pm

what Braves team are you bloggers watching? FB is right on as usual and apparently ajc readers are smoking some of the dope found in clayton county this week.

TennesseePaul

May 5th, 2009
10:06 pm

Bad topic to pick Mr. Bisher. Six of the starting regulars are “farm” guys. The Braves farm system boasts 5 of the top 100 kids. Included in that top 100 are a total of 9 guys that were/are Braves farm products. The Adam Wainwright deal isn’t what is killing this team right now… in case you were under the gun to get this out and failed to look, Braves pitching is quite good. The Teixeira trade isn’t what is killing this team right now either. The Braves traded a short-stop (Elvis) because they had their own farm grown short stop in the majors (Yunel Escobar). A catcher (Salty) because they had their own farm grown all-star, silver-slugging catcher in the majors (McCann). And then a bunch of pitchers (which the team really isn’t dying for, reference the point earlier). What this team needs is one hitter. Just one hitter that can hit the ball out of the park. There weren’t that many available this past offseason who didn’t have any warts (bad attitudes, horrid consistancy, high dollar demands). The team stood pat. Signed a bunch of pitchers and hoped the addition of Schafer over Josh Anderson would increase overall power, and thus thump up run production. What has happened was Garrett and McCann have been injured and the team has lost some low scoring games. What will happen is anyone’s guess. But know this, the Braves have room to move for additions this summer. So long as they stay close, it ain’t over yet.

hop

May 6th, 2009
7:07 am

THE BRAVES will be marginial for a long time and yes, there are not many studs down there that will bring them back as contenders.

the homers on this blog can wail all they want about how strong the farm system is,but that is just “alot of braves front office BS”.
the braves will be mediocre for a long time.

too many very bad trades has brought the braves to this low point.

we need new ownership to bring the braves back,e.g. arthur blank and what he did with the falcons.that is what is needed.

the braves have way too many holes with very average players and very few players to build on.

that is what furman was trying to say,but we have so many homers here who cannot see the “forest for the trees” .

until new ownership is found, the braves will be a non-contender for a long time.

ghost of bob horner

May 6th, 2009
10:11 am

well, marquis has been at best a league average pitcher.
saltalamachia hasnt been that great, and, whatever happend to andy marte?

our farm team is still good, but we may never see a day again where we produce guys like avery, glavine, justice, like in the late 80’s. that just doesnt happen that often.

Kev

May 6th, 2009
1:09 pm

The braves are loaded with pitchers Bennitt, Morton, Nunez,Carlyle,Accosta, Ect why cant they trade two or three of thies guys and get an center fielder who has about 8 or 10 years in the game who has been benched by a younger player but still has good skills. Hell R.Henderson can do a better job than Schafer right now.

elliwg6

May 6th, 2009
3:40 pm

ok i get the point. bad trades were made. but the conclusion is that our farm is “dried up…?” not at all man. look at baseball america. we’re ranked 6th!!! plus Hanson is a projectable ACE. Heyward is a top ten prospect too. plus freeman. Schafer was ranked way below these guys and he’s a major league starter. also with regards to anderson. speed isnt all you need at the top of the order, ever heard of OBP?

Matt

May 6th, 2009
4:45 pm

AJC sports writers have become about as credible as the National Enquire. Furman my friend its about time to retire, because your Braves Baseball knowledge has “dried up”!

Bob Salttoyourmachia

May 7th, 2009
2:32 am

ProScout

May 7th, 2009
10:29 am

Surprise, surprise, another journalist who doesn’t know his a$$ from a hole in the ground.