Braves One Year Wanker: Ryan Doumit

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Remember that time when the Braves started drafting first rounders for need, rather than taking the best available? Remember when that led to drafts of Joey Devine, Jason Hursh, and Sean Gilmartin? Then remember that time when the Braves traded Joey Devine for Mark Kotsay, removed Jason Hursh from the 40-man roster, and traded Sean Gilmartin for today’s Braves One Year Wanker, Ryan Doumit? I wish I didn’t.

Braves One Year Wanker, Ryan Doumit

Aside from eyes that will take a man’s soul, Ryan Doumit seems like a pretty good guy. He quit baseball at 33, is married, has kids, and doesn’t seem to take himself too seriously as he plays shortstop in a slow pitch beer league with all his high school buddies. But while with the Braves, he played like a real wanker.

But was it really on Doumit? Before coming to the Braves he was known for 2 things:

  • He had history of being a good hitter.
  • He had history of being an atrocious fielder.

The Braves did their best not to let him play the field as he only saw 144 innings in the field. That was nice of them and I’m sure that it had something to do with to his -80 Defensive Runs Saved that he’d been collecting for 7 years. No, that isn’t an exaggeration.

But what about the bat? Surely a 33 y/o switch hitting Doumit had something left in the tank to give the Braves quality at-bats off the bench? Alas, no. His OPS found its way to .607 for one day the entire season, then whimpered back to the .500s to stay the rest of the season.

Who’s the Real Wanker Here?

Hindsight makes it easy to judge this acquisition harshly as Doumit didn’t necessarily tear the cover off the ball the year prior (.710 OPS) and the poor defensive reputation was well known. Factor those 2 in, along with the 3.5 MM salary for what was essentially a switch-hitting pinch hitter, and maybe the real wanker here is the GM who thought it’d be a good idea to give such a player 3.5MM AND give up a former 1st round pick on December 18th when players like that are given a few cans of beans after another team’s cut them during Spring Training.

Or, maybe I’m the real wanker for judging a trade that happened 7 years ago when I approved of it at the time. Yeah…it’s me.

Thanks for reading on Braves One Year Wanker, Ryan Doumit. Check out our entire series of Wankers and Wonders here.

Author: Ryan Cothran

Ryan is the site editor and manager of Braves Journal. Follow him on Twitter.

13 thoughts on “Braves One Year Wanker: Ryan Doumit”

  1. Yeah, Mike Minor aside, the first round pick strategy of looking for “safe” and “polished” guys was the major problem. Trading Gilmartin for a major league area of need — a catcher who could hit — made sense at the time, and basically just turned into a simple lose-lose: outside of a successful 2015, Gilmartin has pitched 50 very ineffective innings over the last five years. So we gave up a guy who sucked for a guy who sucked.

  2. @1

    So, what you’re saying is the trade wasn’t so much a win-win as it was a wtf-wtf for both clubs?

  3. @1
    Now that I’ve made it my life’s work to study trades, I cannot agree with the sentiment, especially considering that Doumit was a below average bat the year before and had “defensive flexibility” meaning he could stand or squat at a position and field it worse than 95% of the players in the league.

    And Gilmartin struggled the year prior at Gwinnett, but was injured and only played professionally for 2.5 years. I mean, they gave Matt Lipka 7 years to figure it out and couldn’t given Gilmartin more than 2.5 and chose to trade him for a guy that his equivalent could be picked up off the scrap heap at the end of March?

    I’ve appreciated AA’s patience to put the last puzzle pieces together with other’s spare parts and looking back, it feels like Wren made a reactionary trade way too early in the offseason.

  4. @ 3,

    I thought Doumit was worth a chance for what was offered as well. My understanding of and appreciation for defensive stats and their relative consistency plus Doumit’s earlier decent offensive numbers, probably distorted my view. Also, this time is right where the “steroid era” has ended and the post steroid era had begun. I remember JC’s work on aging curves before the effective ban showing peak around 27 and maybe more like 29 for exceptional position players. About 3 years ago I remember somebody’s work peak at 25 and decline thereafter. With that info I would have been less likely to view the Doumit acquisition positively.

  5. @3, maybe they should’ve traded Lipka sooner too!

    Are you saying that you think they should have held onto Gilmartin? Or are you saying they should have built up his value more and traded him for a better return?

  6. @5

    Salvage the pick. Trading a first rounder 2.5 years after his draft for a bottom feeder return is pretty poor strategy.

  7. No question you’re right, it’s indicative of poor strategy. But 2.5 years after picking Gilmartin, they had some idea of what they had with him, and at that point the draft pick is a sunk cost. How do you think they could have salvaged more value?

  8. @7

    At that point, if Gilmartin’s value is so low, that it only gets an expensive pinch hitter, then try something different with the kid. I think he’s got a future in the MLB as a middle reliever and turning him into relief at AAA in 2014 when he was only 24 years old would’ve been a better move for the Braves and Gilmartin.

    But seriously, the better choice would’ve been to not draft a guy that couldn’t break 90 and was a major overdraft.

  9. I was today year’s old when I found out former Braves prospect Jamie Romak is a serious force in the KBO. Jake Brigham has also played over there for 3 years as a starter and carried a 2.96 ERA last year in 158 innings.

    Other former Braves finding success over there:
    Casey Kelly
    Mel Rojas, Jr (he’s a monster over there)
    Preston Tucker

  10. Romak, Brigham, Kelly, Rojas, and Tucker are the definitions of AAAA players. I feel like the level of competition in the KBO is becoming firmly established.

  11. The KBO has always had a lower talent level than NPB, especially as players from both leagues have come over to MLB in increasing numbers over the last quarter-century. But it’s always nice when guys are able to find success playing the game they love.

    I don’t know any great English-language books about Korean baseball or the KBO, but any baseball lover owes it to themselves to read one of Robert Whiting’s books about NPB, like You Gotta Have Wa or The Meaning of Ichiro.

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