Blog Entry

Homegrown Team: Atlanta Braves

Posted on: December 2, 2011 3:39 pm
Edited on: December 2, 2011 5:10 pm
Elvis Andrus

By C. Trent Rosecrans

What if players were only permitted to stay with the team that originally made them a professional? No trades, no Rule-5 Draft, no minor or major league free agency ... once you are a professional baseball player, you stay in that organization. This series shows how all 30 teams would look. We give you: Homegrown teams. To view the schedule/past entries of this feature, click here.

The Braves have seemingly always believed in developing talent from within and occasionally supplementing from the outside. It's a formula that's worked for many years and has become a blueprint for most of baseball. However, that doesn't mean they don't make mistakes from time to time, and if you're a Braves fan, you probably already rue the date July 31, 2007, already. On that day, the Braves sent Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Beau Jones to the Rangers for Mark Teixeira and Ron Mahay. The Rangers have been to two World Series since the trade and the Braves none.  


1. Elvis Andrus, SS
2. Martin Prado, LF
3. Brian McCann, C
4. Chipper Jones, 3B
5. Jeff Francoeur, RF
6. Freddie Freeman, 1B
7. Jason Heyward, CF
8. Kelly Johnson, 2B

Starting Rotation

1. Adam Wainwright
2. Tommy Hanson
3. Brandon Beachy
4. Matt Harrison
5. Mike Minor


Closer - Craig Kimbrel
Set up - Neftali Feliz, Jonny Venters, Matt Belisle, Julio Teheran, Charlie Morton
Long - Bruce Chen

Notable Bench Players

Adam LaRoche, Mark DeRosa, Rafael Furcal, Yunel Escobar, Wilson Betemit, Andruw Jones, Jordan Schafer, Tyler Flowers, Brayan Pena and Garrett Jones give this team an acceptable backup at every spot on the diamond and more. 

What's Good?

The depth is incredible -- in the pitching staff and the position players. Even if Wainwright weren't available because of his injury, the team has Chen, Morton or the rookie Teheran to step in, or they could move Feliz to the rotation without even having to look anywhere else for its closer.

What's Not?

Heyward is playing out of position in center -- it was between him and Francoeur, so I went with Heyward. Other than that? Well, Wainwright might still have been injured and the rotation is young, but talented.

Comparison to real 2011

There's no chance this team would have missed the playoffs, like their real-life counterparts did. The rotation is solid (even without Wainwright) and would have given first-year manager Fredi Gonzalez more innings, meaning he may not have run Kimbrel and Venters into the ground. The lineup has enough punch to aid that goal. Does this team win the World Series? Maybe. The rotation isn't a postseason killer -- yet, but there's certainly potential.

Next: Toronto Blue Jays

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Since: Oct 26, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2011 8:01 pm

Homegrown Team: Atlanta Braves

Actually, Tex would have likely stayed had they been able to pay him. He played at Georgia Tech, so he was not unhappy.

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2011 6:56 pm

Homegrown Team: Atlanta Braves

Do you want to know the REAL sad thing? The Braves got basically nothing for the players that are not on the team:

  • Elvis Andrus, Neftali Feliz, Matt Harrison, Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Beau Jones for Mark Teixeira. Tex traded for Casey Kotchman (gone) and Stephen Marek (still in the minors).

  • Jeff Francoeur traded for Ryan Church who released a few months later.

  • Bruce Chen traded for Andy Ashby who was released a few months later.

  • Kelly Johnson, Adam LaRoche, Mark DeRosa, Andruw Jones, Brayan Pena, Garrett Jones - released.

  • Adam Wainwright traded for J. D. Drew (left as FA) and Eli Marrero (gone).

  • Matt Belisle traded for Kent Mercker - long gone.

  • Charlie Morton traded for Nate McLouth (released).

  • Rafael Furcal left as free agent.

  • Yunel Escobar traded for Alex Gonzalez (released).

  • Wilson Betemit traded for Danys Baez and Willy Aybar (both released).

  • Tyler Flowers traded for Javier Vázquez (gone).

  • Jordan Schafer part of trade for Michael Bourn (free agent after 2012).

Since: Oct 17, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2011 5:06 pm

Homegrown Team: Atlanta Braves

How many starting left fielders do you need? Hope they don't hit any into right field...

Since: Aug 25, 2006
Posted on: December 2, 2011 4:44 pm

Homegrown Team: Atlanta Braves

Just curious, how many players on this list are really homegrown (from Georgia)?  It seems that the Braves have great scouting on local players.

Since: Dec 7, 2008
Posted on: December 2, 2011 4:09 pm

Homegrown Team: Atlanta Braves

I like that team. Of course it'd never happen as players have rights and can always leave for more dollars. But it does show that sometimes trades don't work out like you hope. But seeing what they gave up for Tex, that was overpayment for a player who didn't have any interest in staying with your organization. Not a recipe for success.

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