10 Underrated Atlanta Braves Players Since 2000

Take a trip down memory lane and take a look at a few Atlanta Braves players who may not have gotten as much love as they should have.
Washington Nationals  v Atlanta Braves
Washington Nationals v Atlanta Braves / Todd Kirkland/GettyImages
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7. Andres Galarraga

Andres Galarraga #14 of the Atlanta Braves
Andres Galarraga #14... / Jonathan Daniel/GettyImages

After leading the National League in RBI in 1997, the Rockies released Andres Galarraga into the free-agent market. He signed with the Braves and picked up where he left off in Colorado. At age 37, he hit .305 with 44 homers and 121 RBI. It was his third straight 40-homer season. Over those three seasons, he racked up an astounding 411 RBI, leading the league in RBI in 1996 and 1997. He even threw in 40 steals during that time!

But this is supposed to be about underrated players from 2000 and on! Well, I'm getting there. In the spring of 1999, Galarraga's back was very sore. He couldn't shake the pain and eventually, doctors discovered a cancerous tumor.

He spent the entire 1999 season fighting and defeating non-Hodgkin's lymphoma. He returned in 2000, just in time to make this list. Andres was even selected to the 2000 All-Star game and received tons of fanfare in front of Braves fans at Turner Field.

RELATED: Revisiting the 2000 MLB All-Star Game at Turner Field

In 2000, Andres Galarraga won the Comeback Player of the Year. The "Big Cat" slashed .302/.369/.526 with 28 homers and yet another 100-RBI season, in just 141 games. Galarraga was one of the great power hitters of the late-90s and Braves fans were lucky enough to enjoy a couple of seasons of long bombs from the Big Cat.

6. John Burkett

John Burkett won 22 games for the Giants in 1993 and made the only All-Star team of his first 12 seasons. He was a very solid starting pitcher over his 15-year career, posting a 4.31 ERA over 2648.1 innings pitched. He made his way to the Braves at age 35 in 2000. He made his second All-Star team at age 36 in 2001 with Atlanta.

In 2001, Burkett went 12-12 with a 3.04 ERA. In the steroid era, a 3.04 ERA was good for a 147 ERA+. What makes Burkett's performance in 2001 so impressive is the fact that he made 34 starts and covered 219.1 innings.