Braves 2021 Player Review: Eddie Rosario


Eddie Rosario was one of the Braves best trade acquisitions in recent memory. On July 30th, Eddie Rosario was acquired from Cleveland along with cash considerations for Pablo Sandoval. Yes, the Braves did trade essentially a clubhouse mascot for the eventual NLCS MVP. At the time of the trade, he was still on the IL but would debut August 28th. The rest is history.

Eddie was the boost the offense needed at the time when he debuted. Joc Pederson had begun to struggle a little and Rosario seemed to give Atlanta an extra boost in a revamped outfield. In 33 games, Eddie produced at an elite rate. He hit 7 home runs, 16 RBI’s and posted a 131 OPS+ post trade to Atlanta.

This is only the beginning of the Eddie Rosario experience. Of course, Eddie would have an incredible 2nd half for the Braves. He even hit for a cycle in San Francisco miraculously on only 5 pitches. Rosario along with Joc, Jorge Soler, and Adam Duvall would make the offense the threat we had been accustomed to seeing the year prior.

As we all know, Eddie Rosario made his biggest impact when postseason baseball began. He hit over .300 with 4 hits in 4 games in the NLDS. However, in the NLCS we witnessed what teammates would deem as Super Rosario. Eddie was up every time the Braves needed a clutch hit and he would come through what seemed like every single time.

This is one of the best postseason series I can remember a player having. Eddie Rosario batted over .500 and posted an insane 1.647 OPS against the Dodgers. Rosario had 4 hits including a walk off single in game 2 becoming the first player to do so since David Ortiz in 2004. He collected 26 total bases in the 6 games including 3 homers. One of those home runs was in a pivotal game 6 that ultimately would send the Braves to the World Series.

This has to be one of the greatest trade deadlines in the history of baseball. Players seemed to thrive in Atlanta and create the perfect recipe for success at the most perfect time of a long season. I don’t think the Braves win the World Series without Eddie Rosario. The NLCS MVP may have a very short lived tenure with the Braves. However, it is one nobody in Atlanta will ever forget, that is for certain.

22 thoughts on “Braves 2021 Player Review: Eddie Rosario”

  1. I wanted to re-post something JonathanF posted under Matzek. This is reliever’s career postseason appearances with WPA >0.05.

    Of course Mo just jumps off the page with an incredible 58 such appearances when #2 (Mike Stanton!) had 22. What is also incredible is that Matzek is already top 10 career and he has only had 2 postseasons. Let’s hope he gets a few more.

    Great stuff and I don’t think we give enough credit (or blame) to relievers for their postseason work. Their job is to get the high leverage outs and what is more high leverage than a close deciding game in the postseason. It’s for this reason that, as much as I love him, I would not vote Wagner for HOF. Wags pitched 11 innings giving up 13 runs and 21 hits. Matzek has pitched 24 innings giving up 4 runs and 16 hits. Wagner had WPA > 0.05 in 2 of 14 appearances, Matzek is 14 of 20. Wagner had negative WPA in 6 of 14 appearance, Matzek only 1 of 20.

    In summary, Matzek for HOF?

  2. I truly hope the Braves look at getting Strider relief reps and keep him there. He’s got 2 incredible pitches then really falls off from there. IMO, short stints are a key to his success unless he develops a 3rd. He also has got to work on tunneling. If I can pick up on the differences in his release point, bet your butt that MLBers can.

  3. If they don’t get re-signed, Rosario and Soler (in some order) will go down as the two best short-term “rentals” in Braves history.

    On a separate topic, lest folks think I only rag on the owners, I would like to know what in the actual hell the players have been doing over the last week. The owners made a proposal, and you thought it sucked. Great. Make a freaking counterproposal! You should’ve known that you were gonna think the owners’ offer was bad and had a counterproposal ready to go out like the next day! If the owners are operating in bad faith (and I think they generally are), why are you not operating in the best faith possible to highlight the owners’ bad faith? Stop sitting around for weeks at a time! At this rate, we MIGHT have enough time for another 60-game farce of a season.

  4. Drew Waters was left off the top-100 list for BA and, frankly, I can’t believe it took them so long. For me, he’s never shown that potential. He oozes athleticism, but that’s about it.

  5. Waters hit in the high minors at a relatively young age. He’s not a pure tools goof who got onto prospect charts solely because scouts drooled over what he might be if he ever figured out how to play baseball.

    He had a bad 2021, but given the circumstances I don’t think anyone can be sure what the difference is between a guy finding his level and a guy shaking off rust from the lost COVID season. I’m not married to the guy (and certainly his pitch recognition is concerning), and better prospects than him have certainly failed, but I think prospect evaluation is going to be even more unstable and unreliable than normal, thanks to the unusual times in which these guys have had to try and develop.

  6. The previous Braves team to win the Series also traded for their NLCS MVP (Mike Devereaux) during the season, giving up a minor leaguer (Andre King) who never made it above AA. Devereaux wasn’t nearly as impressive as Rosario. He OPS’d .973 in the NLCS and only got 6 PA in the Series. Seems like that might be a record for fewest World Series PA by a NLCS or ALCS MVP position player whose team made it to the Series.

    @1, I’m a little surprised that BA ranks Harris as a better prospect than Langeliers, but I guess they must figure he has a lot more upside, because Langeliers seems to be a much safer bet to at least contribute in the majors.

  7. @9
    Seemed to be more luck than an actual skill set as he had a BABIP well over .400 in 2019. I’ve watched him quite a bit and don’t really see an impact MLB player. Then again, I thought Pache would be a .750ish OPS MLBer in 2021, so don’t read too much into my opinion.

  8. I love taking a chance on hitters near their prime that have been given up on for whatever reason and trying to get lucky. It paid off big time with Rosario, Soler, and Pederson. (Duvall is a little older, but also worked out well.)

    It wasn’t guaranteed to work at all, but it worked out great. (If only there were some gambling metaphor I could think of to describe the playoffs.)

  9. @10 Mike Devereaux basically won the 1995 NLCS MVP with two hits:
    – The GW single in the 11th inning of game 1 that gave the Braves early momentum
    – The 3 run HR in game 4 that sealed the sweep

  10. Eddie Rosario is the greatest Brave since Hand Aaron…or at least Joc Pederson.

    I love listening to Ron Darling cry.

  11. @13

    That was a bit of an odd series in terms of picking an NLCS MVP. You had Devereaux with two game-deciding hits and not a whole lot else (he did drive in another run in Game 2); you had Fred McGriff going 7-for-16 with four doubles, three walks and five runs scored (he scored on Devereaux’s winner in Game 1, Javy’s homer in Game 2, O’Brien’s homer in Game 3 and Devereaux’s homer in Game 4…every big hit in the series), but he didn’t drive in a single run; and you have Greg McMichael, who got out of a jam to secure the save in the 11th inning of Game 1, pitched a scoreless ninth to keep it tied into extra innings in Game 2 and pitched the sixth inning when the game was still close in Game 4. cWPA actually favors McMichael first, McGriff second and Devereaux pretty far down the list.

  12. @12 Soler is the epitome of that, IMO. Soler took forever to figure it out, had a couple of monster seasons, hit rock bottom, and then Atlanta bought low. It would have been perfectly reasonable to conclude that Soler had a couple good seasons, but he is more who he was before his age-27 season and therefore he’s probably done. He was not. He went immediately back to his peak like a switch was flipped.

    Duvall did for us what he’s basically done for everyone over the last several seasons. As did Joc. Rosario was having a little bit of a down year, but nothing crazy, so I give a little less credit to AA for Rosario as I do Soler.

    But when you put them all on the same roster, it became a stroke of genius in roster construction. They squeezed max value out of those 4 guys. Really incredible stuff.

  13. @16 — That’s absolutely ridiculous. More than half the players in the league have less than four years of service. The top players have generational wealth, sure, but not all or even most.

    The poorest majority owner in the league, by contrast, is still richer than the most well-compensated player who ever lived. Any owner in the league could buy or sell Corey Seager or Francisco Lindor or Max Scherzer — and those are the guys who got lucky and had everything work out. Trying to sell this as the rich versus the richer is deeply disingenuous.

    The owners’ goal here is to crush the earning potential of every single person who makes their product possible and desirable, while they themselves make record profits year after year and insulate themselves from accountability or loss. They are unambiguously the villains here. I just don’t understand how anyone can look at this situation and try to both-sides it. You have to really buy into the “millions of dollars to play a kids’ game!” narrative, while overlooking that the kids’ game in question brings in billions of dollars.

  14. @18 And yet it is the poorest of the players, as you describe them, that get the shit end of the stick every labor negotiation at the direction of the wealthiest amongst them.

    EVERY labor negotiation, it’s the people you champion that are not even championed BY THEIR OWN UNION. The player reps, the ones with the generational wealth, continually sell out the minor leaguers and younger players. They protect and strength the free agency structure at the expense of the guys riding buses and in arbitration. Both sides are fighting over the biggest piece of the pie, and when they determine how big the pieces are to be, the wealthiest players take the biggest bites of their piece.

    If the players were the truly the noble ones, they would be willfully negotiating in an attempt to level compensation. But they’re not. They eat their young. They’re CAPITALISTS. Just like me. Just like you. Just like the owners.

  15. Covid finally got me. Entering 72-hours of symptoms. I’m vaxxed, and I’ve definitely been sicker in my life, but this is a not-so-fun little ride.

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