By In Baseball

The Braves vs. Freddie Patek

Freddie Patek in 1974: 630 plate appearances, .225 average, 18 doubles, 6 triples, 3 homers.

The Atlanta Braves in 2016: 647 plate appearances: .224 average, 26 doubles, 0 triples, 3 homers.

Patek scored 72 runs. The Braves have scored 58.


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38 Responses to The Braves vs. Freddie Patek

  1. gregg says:

    Brilliant. But are the Braves crying in the dugout?

  2. dejesus54 says:

    In context:

    Freddie Patek in 1974: 74 OPS+, 2.5 bWAR

    The Atlanta Braves in 2016: 63 OPS+ (68 OPS+ excluding pitchers), – 2.2 bWAR

    The Braves are, however, out-homering and out-OPS’ing Rafael Belliard in 1992 (who was a Brave, no less).

  3. greywilliams says:

    Who did Patek draft in the first round in 1975?

  4. Patek is the perfect metaphor for the Braves offensive futility, as Patek was not only offensively challenged, but vertically challenged,one of the smallest men ever to play the modern game. A poetic use of stats, Joe.

  5. Kuz says:

    Joe Poznanski is Randy Newman’s nom de plume.

  6. The Braves are horrible, for sure. The plan was to let the veterans hold the fort and gradually bring up the prospects later in the year. But they’ve already started to bring up the prospects, with mixed results. Daniel Castro is doing pretty well. Aaron Blair’s first start wasn’t terrible, but of course, it wasn’t great either. Mallex Smith appears to be not ready at all. (Small sample size on all three, of course). But, losing has created a bit of desperation since, obviously, the fans are disgusted with the results so far & are already screaming for heads to roll, especially Freddi Gonazalez. I really hope they take a step back and just let the plan play out. In the end, it won’t matter really if they win an extra 5 or 10 games. Unfortunately, it looks like a little bit of panic is setting in.

    • Marc Schneider says:

      In fairness, the Braves have had a very difficult schedule so far; they’ve played the Braves, Mets, Cardinals, and Dodgers. I’m not sure how much better they could have expected to do against this group; especially facing Kershaw, Scherzer, Strasburg, Harvey, Syndegaard, etc. They are a bad team, obviously, but even good teams might have struggled with this schedule. The Nats, on the other hand, have played the Braves, Marlins, Phillies, and Twins.

      • That’s true, but you would expect the Braves could win at least one game in a series instead of getting swept. If you play good teams, you might lose the series, but not every single game. The Braves aren’t just losing, they’re losing every game in most series.

        • Marc Schneider says:

          I don’t disagree. It’s a very bad team, much worse, I think, than the FO expected. But let’s see if things improve when the schedule gets a little easier. They did sweep the Marlins, after all, and one a game from the Dodgers. I know this is sort of grasping at straws. 🙂

  7. Michael Maskill says:

    Thanks Joe for another well thought piece.

  8. Brent says:

    Freddie had 79 walks in 1974, so his OBP was actually decent (around .325). He also stole 38 bases. Two reasons why he has scored more runs than the Braves.

  9. Norminator says:

    Freddie Patek hit 3 home runs in one baseball game! Impressive for a 5ft-4in guy.

  10. Norminator says:

    And he’s a former Bucco, so a warm spot in my heart.

  11. Squawks McGrew says:

    As a 40-year Braves’ fan, I’m willing to take lumps this year for the payoff down the road. I don’t want them to hurry. Let the kids develop on the farm. I’m seeing the effort that’s kept them in almost every game. That matters more than their record in a lost season.

    And did anybody ever order that great poster of Freddie Patek standing on first base talking to Frank Howard? They’re side by side. Freddie’s looking straight up and Frank’s looking straight down. Looked like an NBA center talking to a toddler.

    • Patrick Bohn says:

      Yeah, but the tricky thing is, there’s no guarantee that this is going to result in a playoff spot. I mean, the Braves will make the playoffs again, but not necessarily as a result of what is transpiring now

      • Marc Schneider says:

        I agree. That’s why, until the latest spate of tanking began, that it seemed easier to move from being mediocre to being very good. It’s as if watching Houston gave every other struggling team ideas. People use the Nats as an example, but they got extremely lucky, having the first pick in years with Strasburg and Harper coming out. The thing is, though, I think you can make an argument for most, if not all, of the deals the Braves made. But it’s a dangerous strategy and I’m wondering if, despite the high ranking of the farm system, whether there are enough real impact players among the prospects. It seems like there are a lot of potentially good players, but no Harpers. Maybe Swanson is supposed to be that type of player.

        • Dansby Swanson was the #1 overall in 2015 and hasn’t hit any bumps in the road & has done nothing but hit the ball and field like a pro in his first year of minors ball. As a SS, he’s not going to be Bryce Harper, but he projects to an all-star SS for years. There’s not necessarily a Strasburg, but they do have Sean Newcomb (15th overall 2014) and Lucas Sims (21st overall 2012) that are regarded as top of the rotation type guys in the future. Aaron Blair (36th overall 2013) just made his first start, and hopes are high for him, as well. The highly rated prospect list is pretty long. I’d say the four I mentioned are pretty sure bets to be starters, but of course, we don’t know how good they’ll be. And, of course, several others will need to produce to create a team competing for playoffs/championships. I’ll also say that Daniel Castro has looked pretty good since he came up, though the sample size is very small. So, there is hope for Braves fans! Just not this year and probably not next year. But as the summer progresses, more and more of the prospects will make their debuts. That, at least, will make it interesting.

      • Bpdelia says:

        Since tanking is baseball doesn’t work like basketball you’d prefer to see a team stay at least decent but. ..there are always going to be bad teams.

        Certainly it’s jarring that the group of excellent players they developed are already gone, many before even turning 30.

        Seems like Heyward, freeman, simmons should be a good enough core to be able to build around.

        If you can’t take that group and build a good team whyou should anyone be confident the next group will go different?

        How much better can a prospect class work out?

        • Marc Schneider says:

          Other than Simmons, Heyward, and Freeman, though, the core wasn’t that strong, especially after the pitchers (Beachy, Medlen, Minor) got hurt. They sort of went for it in 2013/2014, but Upton, Jr. was a disaster and, more importantly, an expensive disaster. They were never going to spend the kind of money necessary to keep Heyward, who, IMO, is not really a guy you build a team around anyway. Liberty Media didn’t want to keep a team that was going to get more expensive yet probably wasn’t going to win the World Series, at least not until they get in the new stadium. The team they were going to have in place wasn’t going to be a serious threat for the World Series unless ownership spent some significant money and there’s no way Liberty Media was going to do that. Liberty Media would rather have a cheap, bad team than an expensive, average/moderately good team because the moderately good team wasn’t going to draw that much better anyway. Moreover, the Braves have a rotten TV deal from when Time Warner owned the team (seems like a bit of self-dealing to me). So, I think, from ownership’s standpoint, tanking for a few years (with a very low payroll) was more desirable than spending big money for a better team. They figure that, assuming these prospects come around, they can win and still keep a low payroll while see increased attendance from the new stadium. What I’m not sure of is whether this was supposed to be a mild rebuild that got of hand or whether the intention from the start was to tear the team down completely.

          • You are exactly right. They knew they couldn’t afford Heyward and Justin Upton’s free agent contracts, and that even with them, the team wasn’t going to do much. On top of that, the minor league system was bankrupt of talent, so no help was on the way. Therefore, it wasn’t a big stretch to see that they needed to step back, restock the minor league system, regroup and line up for a 3-5 year rebuild. Logically speaking, it was the only solution that made sense. Teams that try to rebuild via Free Agency are usually not successful and end up with boat anchor contracts that prevent them from contending for years. But teams like the Astros, Royals and Cubs had already shown the way to do it. It’s painful, but it had to be done. Now they have to develop the prospects, slowly bring them up & execute. The plan is good, but a plan is no good if you don’t execute the plan.

        • invitro says:

          “Since tanking is baseball doesn’t work like basketball” — I don’t know if there’s evidence that it works in the NBA. It certainly doesn’t give you championships recently — that takes a great front office & coaching (San Antonio, Dallas. Golden State, Boston), LeBron coming to town and bringing his friends (Miami), luring a superstar and having David Stern tell the refs to let you win (LA Lakers), etc. etc.

          Milwaukee got its title this way way back in 1970, but I don’t know if you can point to any other champs.

          • Scott says:

            The Spurs tanked to get Duncan.

          • Marc Schneider says:

            Well, Milwaukee was an expansion team so I’m not sure you can call it tanking in that context. They were never very good like most, if not all, expansion teams were in all sports in that era. Obviously, Milwaukee picked the right time to be really bad. And then they traded for Oscar Robertson.

          • NevadaMark says:

            Milwaukee tanked to get Alcindor? I thought they were just a crappy expansion team.

  12. invitro says:

    It pains me to see the Braves so pitiful, especially in that beautiful classic uniform of the 1990’s and early 2000’s teams. I wish they’d go back to the 1970’s uniform until the team gets great again. Also, they’d lose the giant racially appropriated symbol.

  13. vertov says:

    Not to change the subject, but what an incredibly cool idea to compare the Braves to 1974 Freddie Patek. I would assume too many games have passed right now, but here’s an idea, Pos, for next year. When every team has the number of PA’s (roughly) that compare to a player’s season, compare each team to a specific player. Braves to ’74 Patek, (and I’m just making these up) Marlins to 1964 Bill White, Cubs to 1956 Duke Snider, etc.

    That sounds hopelessly impossible to me, but is there some sort of app that could actually do that? You know, without Pos spending the next 12.7 years of his life pooring thru B-Ref? If not more……..

  14. Unvenfurth says:

    I am loving the Braves ineptitude. Any team that glosses itself “America’s Team” deserves to suck.

    • Marc Schneider says:

      That’s been more than 30 years since they did that and under totally different ownership. Get over it.

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