For a guy that was signed as a Minor League Free Agent prior to the 2009 season, Brooks Conrad sure has accomplished a lot for the Braves in 130 games.

In addition to accumulating a ton of nicknames (“Raw Dog” and “Dirt” being the most notable), the Magic Man from Monte Vista (that one is mine) has been involved in some of the more memorable moments in recent Braves history.

From his first Major League homer in Washington July 3, 2009 that gave the Braves a lead, to his “disappearing ball trick” in Chicago and two pinch-hit grand slams this season (including the walk-off slam off Francisco Cordero earlier this season), Conrad has left Braves fans with a menagerie of moments that will be embedded in their minds for a long while to come.

But now, the 5’11” infielder is going to be counted on for a lot more than coming through in close-and-late situations.

With Martin Prado (you know, the guy who replaced the guy with the torn ACL…Chipper Jones, or whatever his name is) out for the remainder of the season (postseason included if the Braves get to that step), the lifetime back-up is going to be called upon to man the hot corner for the Atlanta Braves.

Number 26 has accumulated a grand total of 218 ABs in four seasons between Oakland and Atlanta and has posted a career line of .225/.290/.450…that and a -.09 UZR for his career at third (although I’ll vouch for some very nice plays at the hot corner) reeks of a grossly below-average MLB player.

But, when you look solely at his 145 at-bats in 2010 and, overall, very impressive .241/.317/.497 line…you have to like the potential production in the season’s final series (and, if those results are indeed fruitful, the postseason).

Small sample size?

Most definitely (after all, he hit is first non-“latter than 7th inning” homer on September 29…that tells you when–and how much–he’s been playing).

But, when the pressure’s been highest, the “Raw Dog” has been at his best (see his 1.43 Clutch–a FanGraphs stat that tabulates how much better or worse a player is in high-leverage situations…which would be good for 7th in baseball if he had enough plate appearances–and that is most definitely what he’ll be facing over the next couple of weeks (hopefully batting behind either Derrek Lee or Brian McCann in the five hole *cough**cough*).

While “Dirt” has been a vital cog in a Braves club that has become know for the come-from-behind victory, he’s now going to be placed with the job of putting the Braves ahead in the early stages of the Braves’ coming games.

With what he has done this season, I’m comfortable voicing my confidence (that and $1 will get you a cup of coffee) in the 30-year-old being able to produce over the course of the Braves’ (hopefully…as this will mean a World Series) next four series.

However, it’s going to come down to him being confident…and, as Mark Twain once said “A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”

But with the support all around him (see this Mark Bowman article)…I don’t see any reason as to why he can’t approve of his own “comfortability” (experience be damned).

Read more MLB news on