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John Rocker was a top young closer until his interview with Sports Illustrated.
John Rocker may not be the best human being and his period of being a top pitcher didn't last long, but he was very good for a few years. In fact, until his interview with Sports Illustrated where he came off as a huge racist, Rocker was one of the top power pitchers in the game.
Rocker came up with the Braves at the age of 23 in 1998 and appeared in 47 games. He was able to go 1-3 with a 2.13 ERA and two saves to go with 42 strikeouts in 38 innings. He followed that by not allowing a run during his eight playoff appearances that season.
In 1999 Rocker became the closer, and actually had the best season of his career. Overall, he managed to go 4-5 with a 2.49 ERA and 38 saves plus 104 strikeouts in 74.1 innings. He then followed that up by not allowing an earned run over 13 playoff innings.
After that season the now infamous SI interview came out, and Rocker was no longer the same pitcher. He managed to go 1-2 with a 2.89 ERA and 24 saves in 2000, with 77 strikeouts in 53 innings, but he lost the strike zone. Rocker, who had never been known as a control pitcher to begin with, walked 48 batters in his 53 innings.
Rocker's final season as a Brave came in 2001, and he was able to go 2-2 with a 3.09 ERA and 19 saves in 30 games before being traded to the Indians. He struck out 36 hitters in 32 innings with the Braves before the midseason trade.
Rocker went 8-10 with a 2.63 ERA and 83 saves in his four seasons with the Braves. He also managed to strike out 259 hitters in 195.1 innings. Another thing that doesn't get him much credit is the fact that he never allowed an earned run with the Braves during his 19 career playoff appearances.