Braves One Year Wonder: Ben Sheets

Braves One Year Wonder, Ben Sheets, is better known for his time with the Milwaukee Brewers, but he did have a memorable end to his career with the Braves. The 4 time all star anchored the Brewers rotation for 8 seasons and received Cy Young votes at only age 25. He was a hyped prospect from the beginning after being drafted 10th overall in the 1999 draft.

Braves One Year Wonder, Ben Sheets: Path to Atlanta

Sheets dealt with arm issues concluding his Brewer career at age 29. He missed a full year in 2009 before coming back in 2010 with the A’s. He started 20 games for the A’s, but recurring arm problems set him back yet again. Ben Sheets looked all but done before, ultimately, signing with Atlanta in 2012 to a minor league deal.

Before the Anibal Sanchez and Felix Hernandez’s of the world, the Braves rediscovered Ben Sheets and his former glory for half a season. Ben was only age 33 at the time of the signing, but he had dealt with so many injuries that many didn’t believe he would ever be back. Ben Sheets started his first game for Atlanta on July 15th and threw six scoreless innings. He threw 6 or more innings in 7 of his 9 starts including an 8 strikeout game. His devastating hammer curve looked as good as ever and it was the story around baseball for a few months.

Ben Sheets revitalized a Braves rotation that dealt with injuries of their own to give them a much needed boost. He went 4-4 with a 3.47 ERA in those 9 starts throwing 49.1 quality innings from July onward. He had a 116 ERA+ in that season with the Braves to help propel the 2012 team into the playoffs. The 2012 season was mostly known for Chipper’s final season and the infield fly game. However, let us not forget the performance Ben Sheets put together to end a fine 10 year big-league career. An injury derailed career left us thinking what could have been.

Thanks for the memories, Ben! And congrats on going out on top!

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9 thoughts on “Braves One Year Wonder: Ben Sheets”

  1. I will always remember him for shutting out Cuba in the gold medal game in the Olympics but he had a great half season with the Braves.

  2. He’s probably one of my 3-4 favorite pitchers ever. Met him in Omaha when I was working for the Royals and he was doing a rehab assignment. Super nice guy. Really not that big, but had wide/broad shoulders.

    Really loved watching him throw that curveball.

  3. Nice piece. Yeah, that spike curve was really something to behold. It was such a shame his body wouldn’t cooperate. One whale of a pitcher when healthy.

  4. It would’ve been interesting to see his career numbers had he never had those injuries. Never know which way they would’ve gone, but there is an off chance he could’ve still been playing last year.

  5. Thanks, Drake. I had almost forgotten the crucial contributions that Big Ben made in 2012. That was a memorable season in so many respects–Chipper’s final season, The Worst Call in the History of Baseball, Kris Medlen’s magical run of starts down the stretch.

    Here are some things I didn’t remember about that season until I looked it up on Baseball Reference. Chipper was on his last legs (literally) but he still led the team in OPS. Dan Uggla had a higher OBP on the season than either Jason Heyward or Freddie Freeman. Heyward did lead the team in slugging percentage. Michael Bourn led the team in bWAR, although nearly half of that was defense. In fact, the outfield defense of Bourn, JHey, and Prado contributed 5.8 defensive WAR. And Andrelton (remember him?) contributed 2.4 WAR of defense–in only 49 games!

  6. I dated a girl that also dated Ben Sheets. That’s the closest I’ll ever get to notoriety.

    Great post.

  7. Thanks for bringing Sheets back! I thought he was great in 2012 and I remember being pretty disappointed that he would not get the chance to build on it in 2013….

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