How bad are the Braves outfielders? They’re so bad, that they’re worse than any expansion team’s outfield. It’s not particularly close.
The 1961 Senators were an oddity, an expansion team taking on the identity of an established club. They had one good outfielder, 38-year-old Gene Woodling, Jim King, a journeyman who had a good year as a part-timer, and a couple of mediocrities who would be shining stars for the 2009 Atlanta Braves.
The 1961 Angels were one of the best expansion clubs, and had the best outfield, with three players who hit better than the league, Leon Wagner, Ken Hunt, and Albie Pearson, and two utility players who were also better than the league.
The 1962 Mets, of course, are the most famous bad team of all time, but they weren’t that bad on offense; they didn’t finish last in the league, at any rate. They had basically two good players, Richie Ashburn and the Other Frank Thomas, both outfielders, both of whom were far better than anyone the Braves have in the outfield. Their other outfielders weren’t very good, but they weren’t nearly as bad as the Braves’.
Their expansion brethren, the 1962 Colt 45’s, actually scored the fewest runs in the league; they played in an extreme pitcher’s park. The problem was their infield, as their outfield was pretty good, in the top half of the league, with Al Spangler and Roman Mejias in the corners above the league average, and Carl Warwick in center only a little below.
Part II tomorrow, unless I decide otherwise.