Good move | Braves | Georgia native Branyan gets Braves invite

Russ Branyan has power. That’s pretty much it. But he has a lotof power. How to describe him… Take a lefthanded-hitting Wes Helms, subtract twenty points of batting average, but add in 30 points of isolated on-base and 60 points of isolated power. He has 70 homers in 1104 career ABs. For an NRI, it’s a good pickup, and he’s got an outside shot at sticking as a bench player who can sort-of-play the same positions — third, first, corner OF — that Wes Helms or Mike Hessman can.

He is completely not Bobby Cox’s type of player.

UPDATE: I somehow turned Branyan around in my mind into a righthanded hitter. He hits left. A Branyan/DeRosa platoon at third would be shaky defensively but produce a fair amount of offense. A Branyan/Hessman platoon could be really fun for everyone except Mike Hampton.

12 thoughts on “Good move”

  1. I think you’re being a bit harsh, Rob. Is he Eddie Matthews? No, but he’s gonna make less money than Gary Matthews Jr. He’s probably worth a roster spot, and assuming Bobby uses him wisely (big assumption) he could be a pretty valuable platoon/bench guy. Look at it this way: Julio Franco isn’t Jim Thome, but he’s been nice to have around the last couple of years. Upside, Branyan could be like that. Downside, he’s close to free.

  2. Excellant move. A three true outcomes superstar, he is not in anyway a Braves kind of player. I wonder how he even got on JS’s radar. Maybe because he’s local.

    Anyway great move. I hope Bobby can find a spot for him.

  3. I think Branyan could be a great bench addition as well, but I fear that the first time he does something like strike out in three straight pinch-hitting appearances, he’ll be buried for the rest of the year…

  4. He is a low risk gamble, I guess if you bring in enough guys like this one or two will pan out to be useful. Spring Training will be alot more interesting than normal this season.

    By the Way, why are there no longer any active links to other parts of the site like message boards?


  5. I wouldn’t say Branyan is completely not Cox’s kind of player. Branyan has amazing power and Cox plays for the three run homer. I also did some calculations to see what Branyan could do if he got 500 ABs with last years stats.

    BA: .216, HRs: 28, RBIs: 80, R: 68, K: 212, BB’s 85, OBP: .322, SLG: .438, OPS .759.

    Not bad numbers for a bottom half of the order player. If you take his 2002 numbers in Cincinnati to 500 ABs, he hits
    .244, 37 homeruns, 90 RBIs, 198 Ks, 78 BBs, 349 OBP, .516 SLG, and .865 OPS.

    If he could do that, he’d be ideal in the 6th spot in the order.

  6. I know it was harsh, I was just kidding. In recent years, we really haven’t had anyone on the bench that could go deep if we needed it. Last year, our left-handed bats off the bench were Darren Bragg and Matt Franco. This year, it may be Gary Matthews, Jr and Russell Branyan. That’s a pretty good improvement.

  7. Don’t forget that branyon has played in the Jake and the Great American Small Park both being conducive to homeruns, especially the latter. I was kindof hoping they’d sign him to such a deal myself, but I still think that mark derosa will prove to be the superior option.

  8. On the other hand, his minor league numbers projected to a much better major leaguer. And Jacobs Field — where most of his home ABs came — played as only a moderate hitter’s park when Branyan was there.

  9. This is a very good move, especially because it comes cheap. Obviously, he will not be an All Star, but Branyan may well prove to be a useful pickup. Sam’s points are well-taken; it is worth rememebering that Branyan hit more HRs in 2002 than did J.D. Drew. The comparison with Rob Deer seem apt. The real question is Branyan’s health. If he is over the shoulder and ankle problems which have plagued him for more than a year, he could add some strength (and power) to the roster.

  10. The Braves made a good move here. I was very annoyed that the Reds let Branyan go, especially only to sign Vander Wal later when Branyan could have done his job with more upside.

    I really wish someone would give Branyan a starting job for a year, just to see what would happen. But he probably strikes out too much for that to happen. He needs to be with a forward thinking GM who really that strikeouts are the same as regular outs.

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