CBA All Time Teams – Atlanta Swarm

What players stand out in the history of the CBA? The obvious answer is the Hall of Famers, and while that’s true, I believe we should look a little deeper. We could look at things like all-time statistics leaders or winners of awards like MVP, Pitcher of the Year, and the like. Those might help us see who had an impact over time and in specific seasons. All of those are valid. They help us learn more about the players that shaped the league. However, what I’m interested in is going even more in-depth than that. I want to find out what players might hold a special place in the hearts of each franchise. If we can determine who the best players have been for every team in the CBA, then we will truly understand who made this league what it is. I am planning to write a series of articles in which I choose an All-Time Team for each of the 30 teams that make up the CBA. I will choose one offensive player for each position including designated hitter, along the with one right-handed staring pitcher, one left-handed starting pitcher, and one relief pitcher for each team. I will write about the process as I compare players who are being considered for each position. I know I’m looking forward to these articles and I hope you are too. I will be writing about the teams in alphabetical order by the name of the city or state associated with each club. Now that I’ve introduced the series, it’s time to get started. Up first is the Atlanta Swarm.






Only four men have played a substantial number of games behind the plate in Atlanta since 2050.


Jose Sandoval-262

Byron Bradnock-292

Juan Gonzalez-307

Ramon Sardon-546


Gonzalez ended his career with negative WAR, and while Sandoval spent at least some time on the big league roster every year from 2061-2066, he was only the first-choice catcher during the 2063 campaign. That leaves us with two remaining candidates.


Byron Bradnock played a combined 18 games in the major leagues for Boston in 2061 and 2062. Atlanta then acquired Bradnock and put him on the big league squad as the opening day catcher in  2063. Bradnock had a decent but unspectacular season in his first year in Atlanta, then struggled mightily in the Premier League in 2064. Many fans wondered if the acquisition of Bradnock had been a mistake. The Australian backstop looked at 2065 as a chance to show that he had learned from his PL struggles and put up easily the best season of his career with 1.47 WAR and a wRC+ of 105. In 2065, he followed that up with another year of great improvement. Bradnock slashed .256/.331/.419, with a wRC+ of 118, and 2.47 WAR. His 2066 wRC+ and WAR are both single season records for Atlanta catchers. If Bradnock stays with the team past his rookie contract and continues on his current trajectory, perhaps he has a chance to be thought of as the best Swarm catcher in history. However, he is not there yet.


Sardon was drafted in the 28th round of the 2050 inaugural draft and immediately became the starter for the Swarm. He hit .356 with 3 XBH and 9 RBI in the opening tournament to help the Swarm earn a place in the Premier League for that first season. Sardon remained the starter for most of his rookie contract, averaging 88 games played during his 6 year stint in Atlanta. He played in all 126 games in 2052, but only 45 in his last year with the club in 2055 when Juan Gonzalez took over as the starter due to his defensive abilities, an area in which Sardon struggled. Sardon’s offense had always been his strong point. He won Silver Slugger awards in 2051 and 2054. He is the team leader in several career offensive statistical categories among catchers, including BA, OBP, SLG (.274/.308/.400), WAR (8.04) wRC (227.69), and RBI (258). Sardon was never anyone’s favorite teammate. He only seemed to sign autographs begrudgingly. Yet, his bat had Atlanta fans cheering him on and remembering his name to this day. It is that offensive ability that lands Sardon on the All-Time Atlanta SwarmTeam




There are three players who must be considered for the Swarm at 1B.


Kaula Guyra 766 of 1,519 games in Atlanta played at 1B

Sumiki Niwa 593 of 816 games in Atlanta played at1B

Brett Dinkelacker 326 of 330 games in Atlanta played at 1B


Atlanta acquired Niwa from Vancouver on November 17, 2055. He provided a consistent left-handed bat in the lineup for the next several years. From his age 24 season through his age 29 season, Niwa hit between .265 and .284 with 11 to 25 HR each year. He played between 103 and 125 games each season and put up more than 2 WAR in three of the seasons, topping out at 4.68 in 2058. Niwa hit a wall when he turned 30, hitting .205 and .216 in his last two seasons with the Swarm, with only 5 HR in 135 games. In the 8 years Niwa played in Atlanta, he slashed .266/.329/.437 with 103 HR, 443 RBI, and 12.59 WAR. He is remembered fondly, but not as the best 1B in the history of the team.


Brett Dinkelacker was a free agent acquisition made when the Swarm earned promotion to the Premier League for the 2064 season. He had a solid but unspectacular first season with Atlanta, putting up 1.01 WAR with a wRC+ of 105. He was much better in his second season with the team, hitting 14 HR, driving in 69, and delivering 2.62 WAR. In his third season in Atlanta, Dinkelacker won the Silver Slugger and MVP, slashing .292/.350/.564 with a league leading 28 HR and 83 RBI. He finished the season with a wRC+ of 161 and a WAR of 4.64. He put up two very strong seasons, but that doesn’t make him the best ever.


Kaula Guyra is an Atlanta icon. He was drafted by the Swarm in the 7th round of the inaugural draft and made his debut later that season. He never played for any other team in his career. Guyra played in at least 117 Games 9 times in his career. He slashed .301/.335/.486 during his 16 year career. Guyra hit .368 with 21 HR and 101 RBI in 2055, winning an MVP and a Silver Slugger as the Swarm won the Bronze League. He also won the Silver Slugger in 2059 and 2060 playing primarily as a DH. Guyra was the first Atlanta player to have his number retired, and is the obvious choice for All-Time Team First Baseman.




The choice at 2B is more difficult than the previous two. Omar Gallego, Pavlushenka Eizenstein, and Josh Davis have all been important members of the Swarm for an extended time. I will explore these three and determine the All-Time Team Second Baseman.


Omar Gallego was acquired via trade from Vancouver on October 24, 2054 and took over as the starting 2B for the Swarm when previous starter Elijah McClain got off to a very poor start while the new man destroyed RES pitching. Once Gallego became the starter, he made it clear that he intended to keep the job. He was the starting 2B in Atlanta for 5 seasons, Gallego was great at getting on base. His career .366 OBP for ATL is the highest among 2B, and the third highest among all ATL players. A below average fielder at the position, Gallego stayed in the lineup because of his offensive contributions. He slashed .265/.366/.379 with 124 SB, a wRC+ of 113, and a WAR of 10.11 in 612 Games. As the longest tenured 2B in Swarm history, he leads most counting stats, but is also high on the leaderboards in other categories as well. His best individual season was 2057, when he slashed .283/.397/.402, with a 134 wRC+ and 3.43 WAR.


Pavlushenka Eizenstein was acquired from Denver on February 1, 2064 as Atlanta prepared for their ascension to the Premier League. He played for the Swarm for most of three seasons, with a brief 2064 loan stint in Houston after it became clear that Atlanta was going to be relegated back to the Silver League at the end of that season. Eizenstein was a team leader on and off the field. He slashed .275/.324/.428 in 294 games, with 163 SB, a wRC+ of 115, and 9.9 WAR. He was the lead-off man during his time with the team. He was a fan favorite for the way he played the game and the way he interacted with the fans and the media. He led the league in SB twice while playing for the Bees. He played solid defense at second and agreed to try playing some shortstop when asked to do so in order to get more offense in the lineup. While his defense at SS was below average, he was the best fielding 2B of the three being considered. Eizenstein did everything the right way and put up excellent numbers in the process.


Josh Davis was acquired in a deal with San Diego at the trade deadline in 2059. He was asked to finish that season as the SS and agreed to do so. He took over as the starting 2B in 2060, replacing Omar Gallego. 2060 was a career year for Davis. He led the league in OBP and Runs scored, while slashing .331/.388/.480 and putting up a wRC+ of 147 and a WAR of 5.47. He finished third in the voting for league MVP that season as Atlanta cruised to the Bronze League Championship. Davis followed up his stellar season with the worst season of his career in 2061, the only time in his career in which he finished with a wRC+ under 100, as he finished at 98. He rebounded and had excellent seasons in 2062 and 2063, finishing with WARs of 2.52 and 3.31. He was plagued with injuries during his final two seasons in Atlanta, which was a deciding factor in the Swarm not signing him to an extension going into the 2064 season. His overall statistics in Atlanta were a slash line of .300/.363/.429, a wRC+ of 125, and a WAR of 9.5 in 332 Games.


I went back and forth on choosing the All-Time Team Second Baseman for the Swarm. All three candidates are strong contenders for the position. In the end, I decided to go with Josh Davis. The thing that put him over the edge for me was that he helped the team achieve promotion from the BL to the SL and the SL to the PL during his 4 years in Atlanta.




There are really only two players to consider at the position of All-TimeTeam Third Baseman for Atlanta. While players like Jeff Knight and Al Santos had their moments, it is clear that the best 3B in Atlanta history is either Chris Carboy or Riso Volgreiter.


Chris Carboy was acquired in the same deal that brought Josh Davis to Atlanta. He played mostly 3B during his time with the Swarm, but he also showed his versatility by spending some time at 2B. Carboy ended his time in Atlanta with the second highest career Batting Average with the team among all players at .314. He led the Bronze League in triples in 2060 and then led the Silver League in Hits (154) and Doubles (37) in 2061. He was a consistently strong performer, finishing with between 2.57 and 3.32 WAR in each of his four full seasons with Atlanta. Carboy played solid defense while compiling the following stats, .314/.339/.421 with 134 Doubles, 194 RBI, and 182 Stolen Bases in 489 Games. Like Josh Davis, he helped the Bees gain promotion twice during his time with the team.


Riso Volgreiter was originally drafted as a 17-year old in the Inaugural Draft by Kentucky. He then bounced around the minor leagues until he was acquired by the Swarm through the New Year Draft in 2059. He played so well in RES that he got a call up late in the season. He played well in 11 games but started the 2060 season back in the minors. Volgreiter once again played his way onto the big league club and made an even bigger impact this time, hitting .359 over 24 games and helping the team earn the Bronze League Championship. He started 2061 with the Swarm and played in 63 games, splitting time between 3B and 1B. He demonstrated strong defensive skills at both positions and continued to hit. It became clear that Volgreiter had to be in the starting lineup going forward and that required some creativity. Volgreiter split time between 3B and 1B, while Chris Carboy split between 2B and 3B and Josh Davis split time between 2B and SS when healthy. It was the team’s confidence in Volgreiter that allowed them to trade Chris Carboy after the 2063 season. During his time in Atlanta, Volgreiter slashed .298/.328/.419 with 43 Home Runs, 296 RBI, a 111 wRC+, and 13.37 WAR in 608 Games. Volgreiter was part of the team for a Bronze League Championship and two promotions from the Silver League to the Premier League. If the Swarm front office felt like Riso Volgreiter made Chris Carboy a tradable asset, then I feel like I have to give him the edge in the battle for All-Time Team membership.




Eduardo Cepeda was the best offensive SS. Jacob Thomas was the best defensive SS. Zachary Shannon was a little bit of both. The biggest challenge in choosing an All-Time Team Shortstop is that I am really trying to choose between players that the team itself always seemed to be trying to replace.


The all-time WAR leaders at SS for Atlanta are as follows:


Jacob Thomas 3.79

Zachary Shannon 3.70

Eduardo Cepeda 2.64


Despite the fact that Shannon saw more playing time than Thomas during the years they were both in the organization, I think I have to go with Jacob Thomas because of his WAR advantage and his two Gold Glove Awards.




There is a pretty obvious answer at the end of this segment, but I’m going to start by mentioning three other players first.


Roland Wilfing was acquired via trade from Chicago on April 11, 2060. He went on to have two fantastic seasons, in which he slashed .301/.367/.504, with 117 SB, 31 HR, 144 wRC+, and 8.36 WAR. He finished 3rd in the 2061 MVP race and also won the Silver Slugger that season. He was not resigned after that season and he never came close to that kind of production after leaving Atlanta. He was an outstanding player for those two seasons with the Swarm.


Johnny Baird was drafted by Atlanta in the 3rd round of the 2059 draft. He moved through the minor leagues, hitting well over .300 virtually everywhere he played and got a brief big league audition in 2061. He began the 2062 season as the starting left fielder and finished 2nd in the Rookie of the Year voting, putting up 3.72 WAR. He followed that up with another 3 WAR season in 2063. In his first month in the Premier League in 2064, it looked like he was going to continue to dominate at the plate. Unfortunately, that’s when the wheels fell off, and Baird was only able to produce -0.4 WAR at the big league level from 2064-2066. His minor league production was minimal during that time period as well. For two years, it looked like the Swarm had found a star, but it was not meant to be.


Jason Burton was drafted number 3 overall in the 2064 draft. He made it clear that he wouldn’t need much time in the minor leagues and made his   major league debut late that year. Burton won the Rookie of the Year award in 2065, hitting .274/.352/.494 with 18 Home Runs, 141 wRC+ and 3.63 WAR.  He followed that up with an excellent sophomore campaign, with 25 Home Runs and 2.56 WAR. Burton has a chance to be added to this list after a few more years, but for now, it’s just been a great start.


The clear choice for Atlanta All-Time Team Left Fielder is Jerry King. King was originally selected in the 6th round of the inaugural draft. He spent most of 2050 in the minor leagues, but made an impression when he was first brought up to the big leagues. He hit 10 Home Runs and put up 1.8 WAR in just 35 games. He started at least 113 games for Atlanta each of the next six seasons, He hit at least 18 Home Runs each of those seasons as well. During that span, King put amassed 20.77 WAR, slashing .306/.356/.522, with 134 Home Runs and 522 RBI. His best season was 2055, He won the MVP, slashing .348/.393/.621, with 16 Triples, 22 Home Runs, 123 RBI, 173 wRC+, and 6.59 WAR. It will likely be a while before King is removed from this list.




Center field is really a two man race between Zack Benson and Elias Saucedo.


Saucedo was acquired via trade from Phoenix on November 12, 2061. He was a good player and a solid contributor for two seasons with the club, helping them gain promotion to the Premier Leavue in his second season. He slashed .257/.334/.390 with 96 Stolen Bases and 6.46 WAR in 225 Games. He was also a leader in the clubhouse and a fan favorite.Saucedo was not the star he had been at earlier stops in his career, but he was still one of the best players to roam center field in Atlanta.


Zack Benson was drafted in the 5th round of the inaugural draft and spent much of that first season in the minors. Once he arrived, Benson held onto the starting CF role through the end of the 2054 season. He was also a team leader who provided excitement on the field. He could, however, also be a bit of a frustrating player at times. He was a brilliant defender, often bringing fans to their feet when he ran down a ball they didn’t think he could reach. He also hit many towering home runs. All four of his full seasons are in the top 10 single season HR totals for Atlanta. But he also struck out a lot. His four season totals are in the top 7 all time for the Swarm, including the top three totals on the list. His career Batting Average in Atlanta w as .203. His OBP was .274. On the other hand, he put up 8.89 WAR and hit 115 Home Runs.


I think I’m going to have to go with Elias Saucedo, but Benson was an important part of the team’s history and needed to be discussed.




The All-Time Team RF comes down to three players, Mike Guerra, Ricky Lopez, and David Jones.


Mike Guerra was acquired in a trade with Boston on December 2, 2059. He won a Silver Slugger award and helped the Swarm secure a Bronze League Championship in 2060. That sason, he slashed .314/.377/.543 with 19 Home Runs, 71 RBI, 40 Stolen Bases, 155wRC+ and 4.26 WAR. He followed that up with another strong season in 2061, slashing .297/.365/.503 with another 19 HR, 45 SB, 146 wRC+, and 3.39 WAR. In 2062, everything fell apart for him. He only hit .227 with 0.57 WAR. His contract ran out after that season and his time in Atlanta came to a close.


Ricky Lopez was acquired in a trade deadline deal from Los Angeles in 2054. Lopez was incredible during his first 26 games as he finished out that season with the Swarm, slashing .461/.500/.557 with 198 wRC+ and 1.35 WAR. While he didn’t maintain that level of play for the rest of his time in Atlanta, he was still a solid performer. During his Swarm career, Lopez slashed .332/.369/.430 with 179 Runs scored, 120 wRC+ and 4.7 WAR in 257 Games. He played mostly RF in Atlanta but also spent some time in LF and at 3B. Lopez was a good player, but not the All-Time Team RF.


David Jones was acquired in the same deal that brought Omar Gallego to Atlanta. However, it took him a little longer to make his way into the big leagues. Jones finally debuted in 2057, but he struggled to make an impact.that year. He was better in 2058, but his breakout came in  2059, slashing .297/.352/.483. with 15 HR, 43 SB, 129 wRC+, and 4.24 WAR. Unfortunately, Jones never recaptured that magic, but did have several other productive seasons, finishing with between 1.3 and 1.9 WAR every year from 2061-2063. He also won a Gold Glove in 2063. During his time in Atlanta, Jones slashed .256/.316/.399 with 204 SB and 10.10 WAR. Jones has played the most games in RF for the Swarm over the years and deserves consideration.


All three candidates had good seasons, but for the All-Time Team RF, I have to go with Mike Guerra. At his best, Guerra was a difference maker, and that is really what we’re looking for here.




There are two players who must be discussed for the position of All-Time Team DH, Sam Perez and Preston Lloyd.


Preston Lloyd was Atlanta’s first round pick in the inaugural draft. He played every game for the Swarm during the first two seasons of the league, some in RF and some at DH. Defensively, he was definitely best suited as a DH. Lloyd had a down year, in limited playing time in 2052, but still put up 122 wRC+. During his three seasons with the Swarm, he slashed .303/.421/.480, with 44 HR, 149 wRC+, and 7.48 WAR in 318 Games. Interestingly, Lloyd walked 201 times during his time in Atlanta, while only striking out 202 times. Lloyd was the offensive centerpiece for the team during the first two seasons, aided by Jerry King once he arrived. The fans were shocked to see him traded after the 2052 season. Lloyd is remembered fondly in Atlanta, but he is not the All-Time Team DH.


Sam Perez was brought in to fill the void created by the loss of Lloyd. He was acquired via trade from Houston on June 9, 2053. Sam Perez is one of the greatest hitter to ever play in the CBA, and his time in Atlanta was remarkable. Perez played in 332 Games for the Swarm, all but 26 were as the DH. Perez finds his name on many of the all-time statistical leaderboards in Atlanta many years after his three year stint with the club. He sits atop the BA, OBP, SLG, ISO, and WOBA boards as I write this article 12 years after he left Atlanta. Perez finished in the top three for the MVP award during both of his full seasons played with the Swarm. During his time with the team, he slashed .343/.420/.613, with 85 HR, 248 RBI, 40 SB, 174 BB to 153 K, 177 wRC+, and 16.36 WAR. He is undeniably the Atlanta All-Time Team Designated Hitter.




There are 3 men to consider for the position of All-Time Team RHSP. Nick Vitale, Sandy Torres, and Rich Shrader have all been important pieces of Swarm history.


Nick Vitale was selected in the 3rd round of the inaugural draft and pitched for Atlanta from 2050 through 2056. For his career, he had a record of 75-52, with a 3.92 ERA, 3.79 FIP, 87 FIP-, and 19.54 WAR. Vitale pitched in 176 Games, starting 145. He struck out 863 batters in 981.2 Innings. Vitale helped the team win the Bronze League Championship in 2055. He is the right handed starter who has pitched in the most games for Atlanta over the years. He is one of the top pitchers in Swarm history, but he does not quite make the All-Time Team.


Sandy Torres was selected in the 2nd round of the inaugural draft and pitched alongside Vitale from 2050-2056. He pitched in 169 Games, starting 137. In 900.1 Innings, Torres struck out 868 batters. His record was 59–47 with a 3.76 ERA, 3.71 FIP, 85 FIP-, and 19.54 WAR. He helped the team win the 2055 Bronze League Championship and was one of the fan favorites in those early years.


Rich Shrader was selected in the 5th round of the 2054 draft, and spent the next several years in the minor leagues, primarily as a relief pitcher. In fact, he started only 18 of the 210 games he appeared in from 2054-2060 in the minors. When he was called up to the big league club in 2060, he was put in the bullpen, and pitched well, earning a FIP- of 33 in 9 appearances as he helped the team win the Bronze League Championship. He followed that up with another solid year of relief in 2061, while also being called on the start two games. In 2062, Shrader became part of the starting rotation, and never pitched in relief again. Through 2066, he has pitched in 150 Games, starting 121. He has a career record of 48-41, with a 3.33 ERA, 3.19 FIP, 83 FIP-, and 17.78 WAR. He has struck out 195 or more batters four times. In total, he has 971 strikeouts in 818.2 Innings. He has helped the team earn promotion to the Premier League twice. Shrader seems likely to continue to build his resume, as he is under contract through 2068, but he has already done enough to be named to the Atlanta All-Time Team as the Right Handed Starting Pitcher.




At this point, there is really only one possible choice for LHSP. While Cruz Martinez had an impressive loan stint with the team in 2055, he was unable to recapture that magic when he was brought back a few years later. Matt Colvin was a useful pitcher, who put up over 10 WAR while in Atlanta, but he is not making the All-Time Team either. George Wilson is off to a nice start with Atlanta, but only has a limited resume at this point. The only man who could possibly occupy this space on the list is Landon Pederson.


Pederson was originally signed to a minor league contract after the completion of the inaugural draft. He was 17 years old and scouts said he looked like someone who could end up being average at best in every category once he was fully developed. Scouts maintained that assessment throughout his entire career, but Pederson was undeterred. He slowly worked his way up the Atlanta minor league system and found himself at the RES level in 2055. He put up a 230 ERA+ in seven games and earned a call-up. Pitcher Wins may not be a great statistic, but when a 22 year old kid goes 11-0 in his rookie season as the team wins the Bronze League Championship, and follows that up with a 3-1 record in the Tournament of Champions, fans are prone to fall in love with that player. Pederson will always be beloved in Atlanta. He pitched for the Swarm from 2055-2065, He had ups and downs throughout that time, but was largely an effective pitcher during his tenure. He pitched in 261 Games, starting 237. His career record was 103-66, with an ERA of 3.55, a 4.03 FIP, 102 FIP-, and 19.85 WAR. He struck out 1,336 batters in 1,550 Innings. He won double digit games 7 times, including a league high 15 in 2060 as the Swarm won another Bronze League Championship. He had 5 seasons in which he put up over 2 WAR. All that being said, everything he did in his career pales in comparison to what he accomplished in his 2059 season. 2058 was a rough year for Pederson. He was even sent back to RES for a while to try to regain his form during that campaign. That just adds to how remarkable the 2059 season was. For one season, Landon Pederson became the best pitcher in the league. He won the Pitcher of the Year award, and finished 2nd in the MVP vote. That year, Pederson went 12-8 with a 2.92 ERA, 2.69 FIP, 65 FIP-, and 5.17 WAR. His HR% was 0.3%, only allowing 2 HR in 157.2 Innings. That was a standout year in a career worthy of being remembered. Landon Pederson will almost certainly be on the Atlanta All-Time Team list for quite a while.




There have been a number of quality relief pitchers in Atlanta over the years. Pitchers like Bruce Lovell, Adam Rosati, Lee Hall, and Nestor Peña have all provided strong numbers out of the pen for the Swarm. However, none come close to the impact Shizuma Tokunaga had on the organization during his tenure.


Tokunaga was originally signed to a minor league contract after the inaugural draft. In the minor leagues, he started 90 of the 91 games that he appeared in before making his major league debut in 2054. From 2054-2058, he appeared in 226 Major League games, all in relief. He did eventually start 26 games in his career, but a whopping 508 of his appearances were in relief. While he never won the Reliever of the Year award, he finished 2nd and 3rd in the seasons in which the Swarm won Bronze League Championships. In his career, Tokunaga was 56-65, with a 3.30 ERA, 3.19 FIP, 80 FIP-, and 19.01 WAR. He earned 174 Saves and struck out 1,474 batters in 920 Innings. He led the league in Saves twice and helped the Swarm secure two Bronze League Championships and promotion to the Premier League. He will forever be remembered as a great member of the Swarm and is now the first Relief Pitcher to be named to the Atlanta All-Time Team..




C Ramon Sardon

1B Kaula Guyra

2B Josh Davis

3B Riso Volgreiter

SS Jacob Thomas

LF Jerry King

CF Elias Saucedo

RF Mike Guerra

DH Sam Perez

RHSP Rich Shrader

LHSP Landon Pederson

RP Shizuma Tokunaga

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *