Atlanta Braves: 2015 End of Season Player Grades

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Sep 10, 2015; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder

Michael Bourn

(2) bats against the New York Mets in the fifth inning at Turner Field. Mandatory Credit: Brett Davis-USA TODAY Sports

Deal with the Indians

Michael Bourn: Bourn came back to Atlanta in a somewhat complicated salary dump from Cleveland in exchange for Chris Johnson. While Bourn (and the also acquired Swisher) has a higher annual salary than Johnson, his contract will be over sooner, thus freeing up the team long term, rather than continuing to lose water coolers to Chris Johnson’s frustrations. As a Brave, Bourn had to primarily play left field, though he did play several times in right field as well. However down the stretch as Maybin missed some time to injury, Bourn took over center field. A good defender with still above average speed, Bourn was valuable as a plug-and-play kind of guy, even batting leadoff occasionally. That being said, the speedy vet only hit .221 with a .303 on base, putting him at about Todd Cunningham level production, at many times the cost. Though not coming in with great expectations, Bourn was a below average player, so a C- will suffice. Final Grade: C-

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Nick Swisher: Love him or hate him, Swish is impossible to miss in the clubhouse, and his presence went a long way in filling the void of eccentric leader left in the wake of Jonny Gomes’s departure. That being said, Swisher was pretty bad. He did provide a little pop, knocking 4 HRs, and his on base was actually pretty good at .349, aided by his 27 walks to 30 strike outs. When you hit below the Mendoza line though (.195) it’s tough to feel excited. He did prove as a valuable defensive replacement at 1B and LF at times, and his ability to switch hit made him useful in late inning match ups. It’s hard to quantify entirely what Swish brought. I’m going to give him a C-, but hey, whatever, right? Final Grade: C-

Chris Johnson: .235/.272/.320/.592. Wow that’s exciting, no? Would you believe the same player made a run at a batting title in 2013? Chris really didn’t provide very much to the team, and saw his role limited to a platoon player only in the lineup to hit lefties.  His defense was bad. He had little power. His attitude was a topic of frequent discussion. Chris Johnson’s most notable contribution was the return he netted the Braves with his trade to Cleveland. Other than the occasional base hit and a spot on the lineup card, Chris Johnson didn’t provide very much to the team.  Final Grade: C-

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