– We actually drafted Delwyn Young twice, in 2000 and 2001. We didn’t sign him either year, and for that, good. A career OPS of .709 and we liked him enough to draft him twice.
– In 2000, we actually had a rather successful draft, in terms of eventual major leaguers out of that draft. Adam Wainwright, Kelly Johnson and Adam Laroche were all products of the 2000 draft. We also drafted Zach Miner, who was later traded for Kyle Farnsworth and is currently in the Royals minor league system.
– In acquiring B.J. Surhoff and Andy Ashby for the stretch run, the Braves managed to do with Bruce Chen being the most noteworthy player dealt away.
– In September of 2000 we signed Andy Marte, a soon to be much heralded prospect who ultimately proved he was nothing but a very good minor league player
– In February of 2001, the Braves signed Martin Prado as a free agent. We know how that’s turned out. 11 years later we are counting on a bounce back year from him.
– The 2001 draft was a complete disaster. The best player we drafted, and we did so in the 46th round pretty sure he wasn’t signing was Dallas Braden. Would’ve been nice if he had. Otherwise, Anthony Lerew, Mackay McBride and Kyle Davies headline this class. Ouch.
– The big news in 2002 of course was trading Brian Jordan and Odalis Perez as part of a package for Gary Sheffield. Unfortunately, after acquiring Sheffield, we haven’t won a post-season series since.
– In the 2002 draft, our first three picks went Jeff Francouer, Dan Meyer, and Brian McCann. Well, we know which one worked out, which would ultimately fizzle, and one, you’ve probably never heard of.
– In the third round of that draft, we used our 5th pick on Charlie Morton, who last year seemed to really turn the corner and develop into a solid starting pitcher. We only had one pick though after that, so if you’re wondering why we’ve been depleted of talented position players from our system lately….here ya go.
– In December of 2002 we traded Damian Moss and Merkin Valdez for Russ Ortiz. They’ve won a combined 13 major league games since being traded from Atlanta. I’d say we won that deal.
– Which is good, because that’s also the year we infamously traded Kevin Millwood for Jonny Estrada. While Millwood would only once more recapture his 2002 form, Estrada would go on to play 155 games for us……over THREE years.
– The 2003 draft turns out it started with a bang, as Jonny Venters was brought aboard, though it would be over a year before he would sign with the team.
– The potential was there with several other picks, such as Jo-Jo Reyes and Matt Harrison.
– Once again, a dearth of talented position players occurs, and the ones taken, failed to live up to the expectations. Jarrod Saltalamacchia and Brandon Jones were the only two position players drafted. Together they made 301 plate appearances as Braves. Again, if you want to know why we’ve struggled bringing up offensive talent that plays everyday, see only the drafting in this time.
– In December of 2003 we made that fateful trade with the Cardinals sending Wainwright, Ray King and Jason Marquis to the Cardinals for J.D. Drew and Eli Marrero. While Drew had perhaps his best major league season with the Braves, it was his only one in Atlanta as he bolted via free agency to Los Angeles. Marrero was a useful utility player for us, but he too was here for just the one season. While Marquis’ career has been slightly up and a bit down over the course of it, he has won 90 games since leaving Atlanta. Oh, and Wainwright?? He’s only finished in the top 3 in Cy Young voting each of the last two seasons he has pitched, that’s all.