There have been some great Braves teams over the last 20 years, but one that is often overlooked is one of the greatest minor league teams of all time, the 1992 Greenville Braves. The G-Braves went 100-43 that season and outscored their opponents 709-451, almost 2 full runs per game. The team was recently mentioned on minorleaguebaseball.com as the #23 greatest minor league team of all time. There were many future Atlanta Braves on that team, but today's blog will focus mostly on some of the "other guys" that were involved in that season.
Before getting run out of Boston for leaving Pedro in too long in the 2003 playoffs, Grady Little did have a title in his managing career - the 1992 Southern League Championship he won while managing the G-Braves. Grady was a minor league manager in the Braves system from 1985-1996 before getting big league managing gigs with the Red Sox and Dodgers.
But what made this team so dominant? Was is Chipper Jones and his .346 batting average? Was it Javy Lopez's 142 hits? Or maybe Mike Kelly's 25 HR's or Tony Tarasco's 33 stolen bases? Well, these guys all had solid seasons but the offense only managed 4.95 runs per game.
The 1992 G-Braves won 100 games in 1992 because of their outstanding pitching staff. Want to guess some of the guys on that staff that posted a team ERA of 2.62 in 1992?? Don't worry, I'll wait...
The ace of the staff was Nate Minchey (13-6 2.30). He got the call up in 1993 but not with the Braves. Minchey made a total of 15 career appearances in his big league career (93-97). Other studs on the staff Dennis Burlingame (9-9 3.08) and Andy Nezelek (9-2 2.25) never even sniffed the big leagues.
The only names on the G-Braves staff that ever made any sort of contribution to the Atlanta Braves - relievers Pedro Borbon and Greg McMichael.
Now if the team up in Atlanta can start to get things going - a road trip is about to start for the worst road team against the team with the best record in the major leagues? Sounds like a disaster waiting to happen...