The Atlanta Braves have had many great players throughout the years. For this series of articles we’re going to take a look at career retrospectives of some of the under the radar players.
In the last decade, who had incredible seasons that for one reason or another might not have been household names throughout their time with the Atlanta Braves.
Brandon Beachy (2010-2013)
Brandon Beachy began his career as an undrafted free agent following the 2008 Major League Draft. Beachy performed well throughout his stint in the minor leagues and was eventually called up to the Braves in September of 2010 to replace an injured Jair Jurrjens.
The Kokomo, Indiana native was a key fixture in the Braves starting rotation during the early part of the 2010’s. In 2011, his first full year in the bigs, Beachy started 25 games with a 7-3 record to go along with a 3.68 ERA in what would end up being a career-high 141.2 innings pitched.
Beachy had a breakout year in 2012 as he dominated on the mound in the early part of the year. Through 13 games Beachy held a major league-leading 2.00 ERA. Unfortunately, it was all downhill for Beachy after that.
In late June, Beachy was placed on the IL after being diagnosed with a partially torn ulnar collateral ligament. Shortly after Beachy underwent his first Tommy John surgery, which ended his promising 2012 season.
After only starting five games in the 2013 season and not making the Braves postseason roster, Beachy was set to become a free agent. The Braves negotiated a one-year deal worth $1.45 million for the 2014 season. Beachy ultimately wouldn’t pitch a game for the Braves that season as he underwent a second Tommy John surgery before the season started.
After missing all of 2014, Beachy landed with the Los Angeles Dodgers. He would end up only making two appearances on the mound with a 7.88 ERA over 8 innings. That was the last time Beachy would pitch in the major leagues.
Over the last few years Beachy has attempted a comeback to baseball, pitching for the New Britain Bees of the Atlantic League of Professional Baseball in 2018. These days you can find him pitching for the Long Island Ducks also of the ALPB. At 33 years of age, it would be a surprise if Beachy ever made it back to the major league level.
Beachy, however, has not given up hope of making it back to the big leagues. In a 2019 interview following his signing with the Ducks, Beachy said “I want to dominate and get out of here and go play somewhere else, I think that’s every guy’s goal in this locker room is to get back to affiliated ball and try to get back to the big leagues.”
Had he been able to avoid bad luck and injuries Beachy could have had a very successful big-league career. He undoubtedly would have been an All-Star in the 2012 season and could have been in Cy Young contention as well. It’s one of those classic what-if scenarios we see all the time in sports.
That Braves pitching staff in the early part of the 2010’s was loaded with talent, along with a few other players like Beachy who just couldn’t manage to stay healthy.
Just imagine a rotation featuring a healthy Beachy, a healthy Kris Medlen, the veteran Tim Hudson, a young Julio Teheran, and Mike Minor, not to mention guys like Jair Jurrjens and Alex Wood who were great pitchers in their own right.
Had the Braves had the offense to go along with that stellar pitching staff a World Series Championship wouldn’t have been too farfetched.
Who are some underrated guys that you enjoyed watching play for the Braves throughout the years? Sound off in the comments below!