Baseball America

Prospect Lookback: Tom Glavine

Tom Glavine, part of a potential Hall of Fame trio in Atlanta with Greg Maddux and John Smoltz, was voted into the hall Wednesday along with Maddux.

The 6-foot, 175-pound lefthander won 305 games in a 22-year career with the Braves and Mets. Some of his numbers leave him short of the upper echelon for a Hall of Famer (3.54 ERA, 1.31 WHIP, 1.74 K/BB rate), but his durability is unquestioned.

501-94-Glavine-Smoltz-Maddux

Glavine averaged 33 starts and 215 innings per season, with most of his career coming in one of the game’s most offensive eras, and he ranks 30th overall in innings pitched and 12th in starts. He won two Cy Young awards, in 1991 and ’98, and finished in the top three six times while posting five 20-win seasons. He also clinched the Braves’ 1995 World Series championship with eight scoreless, one-hit inning in Game Six against the Indians.

Glavine was drafted by the Braves in 1984 in the second round, No. 47 overall, out of Memorial High in Billerica, Mass. He was selected 16 picks after future teammate Maddux and after players such as Dave Graybill (Expos), Scott Wade (Red Sox) and Karl Allaire (Astros).


See also: Glavine’s 1985 scouting report

See also: Glavine’s 1990 scouting report


He first popped up on Baseball America’s radar in June 1986, when BA contributor Larry Fleming wrote that Glavine “could be the best lefty in the minors.”

It has been said Greenville’s Tom Glavine could be the best lefthanded pitching prospect in minor league baseball. It has been said Glavine could be the next lefthanded pitcher on manager Chuck Tanner’s staff in Atlanta and could wind up in the big leagues by year end. It has been said Glavine, barely 20, is mature beyond his years. “All of that is true,” said Hank Aaron, vice president and director of player development for the Braves. “We think Tom is definitely a major league prospect. He goes about his business in the right way. We’re keeping an eye on him. He has gotten everybody’s attention here, not only me but (general manager) Bobby Cox and Tanner, too.”


Just to punctuate how long ago this was, the Braves’ manager was Chuck Tanner and Bobby Cox was the GM, having come to Atlanta after serving as Toronto’s manager.

Aaron said then he was hoping Glavine wouldn’t be rushed to the majors, but the lefty made it to Atlanta by 1987.

Glavine, meanwhile, had his own tough decision after he was drafted by the NHL’s L.A. Kings in the fourth round. He also had an interest in attending Harvard. He didn’t struggle with the choice, he told BA.

”It wasn’t all that tough of a decision,” he said. “It would have been tough if the Braves had come in and made an offer I wasn’t happy with. But they made an offer I was very happy with. That made it a lot easier.”

Instead of Harvard, Glavine went to Bradenton, Fla., to play in the Gulf Coast League in 1984. He moved to the South Atlantic League in 1985 and then Greenville, where he was first profiled by BA.

He reached Triple-A Richmond in 1986 and after time there in ’87, reached Atlanta for good in August of 1987.

Year Club Class W L ERA G GS CG IP H HR BB SO BB/9 SO/9 WHIP
1984 Braves R 2 3 3.34 8 7 0 32.1 29 0 13 34 3.62 9.46 1.30
1985 Sumter A 9 6 2.35 26 26 2 168.2 114 6 73 174 3.90 9.28 1.11
1986 Greenville AA 11 6 3.41 22 22 2 145.1 129 14 70 114 4.33 7.06 1.37
1986 Richmond AAA 1 5 5.63 7 7 1 40.0 40 4 27 12 6.08 2.70 1.68
1987 Richmond AAA 6 12 3.35 22 22 4 150.1 142 15 56 91 3.35 5.45 1.32
1987 Atlanta MAJ 2 4 5.54 9 9 0 50.1 55 5 33 20 5.90 3.58 1.75
1988 Atlanta MAJ 7 17 4.56 34 34 1 195.1 201 12 63 84 2.90 3.87 1.35
1989 Atlanta MAJ 14 8 3.68 29 29 6 186.0 172 20 40 90 1.94 4.35 1.14
1990 Atlanta MAJ 10 12 4.28 33 33 1 214.1 232 18 78 129 3.28 5.42 1.45
1991 Atlanta MAJ 20 11 2.55 34 34 9 246.2 201 17 69 192 2.52 7.01 1.09
1992 Atlanta MAJ 20 8 2.76 33 33 7 225.0 197 6 70 129 2.80 5.16 1.19
1993 Atlanta MAJ 22 6 3.20 36 36 4 239.1 236 16 90 120 3.38 4.51 1.36
1994 Atlanta MAJ 13 9 3.97 25 25 2 165.1 173 10 70 140 3.81 7.62 1.47
1995 Atlanta MAJ 16 7 3.08 29 29 3 198.2 182 9 66 127 2.99 5.75 1.25
1996 Atlanta MAJ 15 10 2.98 36 36 1 235.1 222 14 85 181 3.25 6.92 1.30
1997 Atlanta MAJ 14 7 2.96 33 33 5 240.0 197 20 79 152 2.96 5.70 1.15
1998 Atlanta MAJ 20 6 2.47 33 33 4 229.1 202 13 74 157 2.90 6.16 1.20
1999 Atlanta MAJ 14 11 4.12 35 35 2 234.0 259 18 83 138 3.19 5.31 1.46
2000 Atlanta MAJ 21 9 3.40 35 35 4 241.0 222 24 65 152 2.43 5.68 1.19
2001 Atlanta MAJ 16 7 3.57 35 35 1 219.1 213 24 97 116 3.98 4.76 1.41
2002 Atlanta MAJ 18 11 2.96 36 36 2 224.2 210 21 78 127 3.12 5.09 1.28
2003 New York MAJ 9 14 4.52 32 32 0 183.1 205 21 66 82 3.24 4.03 1.48
2004 New York MAJ 11 14 3.60 33 33 1 212.1 204 20 70 109 2.97 4.62 1.29
2005 New York MAJ 13 13 3.53 33 33 2 211.1 227 12 61 105 2.60 4.47 1.36
2006 New York MAJ 15 7 3.82 32 32 0 198.0 202 22 62 131 2.82 5.95 1.33
2007 New York MAJ 13 8 4.45 34 34 1 200.1 219 23 64 89 2.88 4.00 1.41
2008 Myrtle Beach HiA 0 0 2.25 1 1 0 4.0 3 0 1 4 2.25 9.00 1.00
2008 Mississippi AA 0 1 3.60 1 1 0 5.0 4 0 1 1 1.80 1.80 1.00
2008 Atlanta MAJ 2 4 5.54 13 13 0 63.1 67 11 37 37 5.26 5.26 1.64
2009 Mississippi AA 0 0 4.50 1 1 0 2.0 3 1 1 0 4.50 0.00 2.00
2009 Gwinnett AAA 1 0 3.38 2 2 0 8.0 11 1 2 3 2.25 3.38 1.63
2009 Rome LoA 1 0 0.00 1 1 0 6.0 3 0 0 2 0.00 3.00 0.50
Major League Totals 305 203 3.54 682 682 56 4413.1 4298 356 1500 2607 3.06 5.32 1.31
Minor League Totals 31 33 3.19 91 90 9 561.2 478 41 244 435 3.91 6.97 1.29

Majors | #Atlanta Braves #Hall of Fame #New York Mets #Tom Glavine

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