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Monday, May 16, 2022

Brad Komminsk made bigs with big expectations; Saw eight ML seasons, but fell short of forecast

When Brad Komminsk arrived for spring training 1984, he did so with a lot to live up to, according to The Fort Lauderdale News.

The expectations from many - including Home Run King and Braves player development director Hank Aaron - came after he'd hit .334, with 24 home runs the previous year at AAA, The News wrote.

"I don't really know how to respond when people start talking about how good I'm going to be," Komminsk told The News that March. "I'm honored that so many people think so highly of me. But to me, it's all just talk. I haven't done anything yet."

Komminsk went on to see the majors over eight seasons, but he could never do as much as people had expected he would. He ended with just 376 games played over his eight seasons, and 23 career home runs.

But he did go on to a long post-playing career as a coach and manager in the minors.

Komminsk's career began in 1979, taken by the Braves fourth overall in the draft out of Lima High School in Ohio.

Komminsk started with the Braves at rookie Kingsport. He hit .222 over 59 games. He then saw single-A Anderson and Durham, then AA Savannah in 1982. He hit .273, with 26 home runs at Savannah.

He debuted with the Braves in August 1983, after his big season at AAA Richmond. He saw 19 games and hit .222.

Returning for 1984, Komminsk saw 90 games, but hit just .203, with eight home runs. One of his home runs came in a June game, his first grand slam

The grand slam was enough for Braves starter Rick Camp to echo those Komminsk expectations to UPI.

"He smoked that ball," Camp told UPI afterward. "He's going to be a great player, there's no doubt about that. He's strong. He's got the potential to possibly be another Murph (Dale Murphy)."

Komminsk returned for 106 games in 1985. He hit .227, with four home runs. He then saw scant duty until 1989. He saw five games with the Braves in 1986, seven with the Brewers in 1987 and no major league time in 1988.

He arrived with the Indians in 1989, where he hit .237 in 71 games, after some early success that year.

"It's been a long, long row to hoe," Komminsk told The Durham Herald-Sun after his early success that July. "It's not exactly what I had hoped for or anything, but I just kept hanging in there and tried to play hard."

Komminsk moved to the Orioles and Giants in 1990, where he saw 54 games between them. He then rounded out his major league career with 24 final games with the Athletics in 1991.

By 1998, Komminsk was hitting coach at AAA Toledo. The next year, he served as manager at single-A Columbus. He's last recorded as coaching at short-season Aberdeen in 2012.

1990 Minor League Tally 
Players/Coaches Featured:3,916
Made the Majors:1,306-33.4%-X
Never Made Majors:2,610-66.6%
5+ Seasons in the Majors:530-X
10+ Seasons in the Minors:326

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