Wednesday, November 03, 2004

Estrada wins award

Johnny Estrada was awarded the Silver Slugger award yesterday (this is the award given to the top offensive player at each position in each league). Why'd he win it? The guy only batted .314 for the season, driving in 76 RBI and knocking out 9 home runs. That .314 was the highest batting average by ANY Braves player, by the way. Pretty impressive numbers from almost any catcher, much less a rookie...

I'll admit it: I was one of those people asking why Atlanta traded Kevin Millwood for what little they seemingly got in return. I know, I know.... salary dump and all that jazz. But Estrada strolled into Atlanta and impressed the hell out of me. He calls a pretty good game and he's solid defensively. He's great with the bat, which is something you don't usually get from a catcher who's "solid defensively". (See Paul Bako if you need an example.) I think the greatest asset Johnny brings to the team is his ability (and willingness) to choke up with two outs and runners on and actually put the ball in play to drive those runners home. I'm sick to death of stupid baseball and players insisting it's a home run or NO runs. Estrada is a team-first guy, like a lot of the other young players who carried the Braves for most of the season. That's the type of baseball I like watching and am missing already. Dammit- when does April get here?!

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