Talking Chop writer CB Wilkins gives a rundown of the nicest guys in the Braves organization.
I've been going to anywhere between 70 and 100 baseball games a year since I was a teenager in the mid 90s, and in any given season I interact with several thousand players. I can tell you one thing I've learned over the years, baseball players are, in general, good guys. And no team seems to put more effort and care into making sure their organization is full of good guys than our beloved Atlanta Braves. Growing up and watching the team on TBS made me a fan, but the outstanding people in the Braves organization refresh my fandom each year.
Back in 2010, I posted my list of the Top 10 Good Guys In The Braves Minor Leagues, where I highlighted the players in the organization who were, on a personal level, the best the organization had to offer. It wasn't an easy task, there are over 150 players in the organization, they're all wonderful people, and I feel awful that I was only able to list a handful. Not awful enough that I didn't do it, and not awful enough that I haven't done it again. Five players from the original list, Cory Gearrin, Myke Jones, Matt Kennely, Adam Milligan, and Julio Teheran, are still in the organization, and each of them would easily be able to make the list again. But, for the sake of new blood, I'm going to make them ineligible for our new list. I'm also limiting myself to people in the Braves Minor League system, so Major Leaguers like Jonny Venters, Brandon Beachy, and Luis Avilan, who absolutely belong on any list of good guys, will be ineligible as well. The Braves just signed pitcher Tim Corcoran to a Minor League contract, and he could easily make this list, but since he hasn't even put on a Braves uniform yet, we'll leave him off also.
With all those caveats, here's part 2 of CB's Top 10 Good Guys In The Atlanta Braves Minor League Organization, listed alphabetically. Part 1 was posted earlier in the week.
Shawn McGill (@shawnypmac15) - When you're the organization's extra catcher, moving from one team to another, often spending more time on the inactive roster than the active one, it helps to have a great attitude, and Shawn certainly does. He's a big, friendly guy who goes out of his way to interact with fans, and it's obvious how much loves baseball and getting to play it for a living. As a player he's willing to do anything asked of him, and he's the same way as a person. I was very happy to see him re-sign with the Braves this winter, and I hope it means he'll get some more consistent playing time next season.
Bobby Moore - B-Mo spent most of the final 4 seasons of his 10 year playing career with the AAA Richmond Braves, and after retiring following the 1995 season, he began his coaching career in the organization the very next year with the Eugene Emeralds. Since then, he's coached at every level and has had a hand in grooming every hitter who has climbed the Braves Minor League ladder, not only by helping them become better hitters, but by helping them become better people. He loved Rome so much that he moved his family there and has become an integral part of the community. Bobby is a wonderful person who is always smiling and happy to talk with anyone, constantly deflecting any kind of influence he might have on the players he coaches. He's exactly what the Braves organization is about, and it's hard to imagine where the team would be without him.
Carlos Perez - You almost never see Carlos without a smile on his face. Even when he was struggling with recovering from a major shoulder injury, he remained upbeat and affable. Many foreign players struggle with the language barrier, and while Carlos will be the first one to tell you he'd like to learn more English, he managed to make great friends wherever he's played because his personality is so likeable.
David Rohm (@drohm2526) - David is one of the quietest guys in the organization, but undoubtedly one of the friendliest. He's quick to deflect attention away from himself and eager to talk about others, always taking a genuine interest. His father played two seasons of Minor League baseball with the Blue Jays, and while he certainly passed down a love of the game and a great ability to play it, he also passed down a deep understanding of the best way to compose yourself and treat people.
Troy Snitker (@snitwitit23) - Troy's father Brian has been in the Braves organization since 1977, first as a player, then as a Minor League coach and manager, and currently as the team's third base coach, so he literally grew up on the Braves farm, making it no surprise that he embodies the type of person the Braves look for in a player. He's friendly, funny, and just a general pleasure to be around. Before I'd ever met Troy, I'd heard stories about how great he was from friends I had who'd played with him in summer college leagues. He's a great guy and an an asset to the organization both on and off the field.
CB Wilkins is the author of the baseball novel Four-A.