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June 1, 2013; Atlanta, GA, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder Jordan Schafer (17) celebrates after scoring on a center fielder B.J. Upton (2) walk-off single in the tenth inning against the Washington Nationals at Turner Field. The Braves won 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Daniel Shirey-USA TODAY Sports

Atlanta Braves Jordan Schafer Enjoying The Ride

Most know the up and downs Jordan Schafer has had in his pro baseball career….

First, on November 5th 2007, Baseball America announced the Atlanta Braves Top Ten Prospects list.  The number one player on the list was an outfield out of Winter Haven High School named Jordan Schafer.

Aug 25, 2013; St. Louis, MO, USA; Atlanta Braves center fielder Jordan Schafer (17) hits a one run double off of St. Louis Cardinals starting pitcher Lance Lynn (not pictured) during the second inning at Busch Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Jeff Curry-USA TODAY Sports

Then in 2008, he would be accused of HGH use and suspended 50 games.   He later denied ever taking HGH and said he never failed a drug test but that couldn’t help clear his name.  He went on with the suspension saying he deserved the punishment because he was hanging around the wrong people.  He came back to the team after his suspension was over and played well displaying still that he had the power, speed and defense.

After coming back from the suspension, surged again in the minors and in 2009 won the starting job in center field for the Atlanta Braves.  In his first career MLB game, he hit a home run and played well through the first month of the season.

But then the wrist injury came…struggles came and a trip to the minors.

2011, he was traded away to Houston in the Michael Bourn trade.  In the seasons he was there, he actually did well.

But Houston let him go after the 2012 season.  To be let go from the Astros must kill a player inside.

Atlanta resigned him to a 1year/$513K deal in hopes to resurrect his career.

Schafer has taken this opportunity and ran with it.

Jordan has hit .277 (28-for-101) with a strong .365 OBP from the leadoff spot for the Braves in 2013.  And before missing more than a month with a stress fracture near his right ankle, he had hit .312 (39-for-125) with 11 extra-base hits (two triples, three homers), a .399 OBP and .464 slugging percentage in 61 games.

Schafer had been in a little of a slump after returning from the DL but went 3-4 on Wednesday night and scored the winning run.

“It’s just hitting the ball where it’s pitched. Just trying to get back to where I was before, just getting that feeling back. I can feel it getting a little bit better each day. It’s just a matter of time. I’ll be all right.”

Fredi Gonzalez spoke on Schafer after his big game on Wednesday, “He has that type of ability that he can make a difference offensively…bunt, steal a base, score from 2nd base with a hard hit ball and defensively, we’ve seen him make some plays in the outfield that he’s speed let him catch it.”

Jordan’s fantasy football competitor Chris Johnson spoke on his buddy, “Schafer’s speed is huge…he gets on base it’s a double, with is speed he’s such a good base stealer and he gets himself into scoring position.  He did a tremendous job for us Wednesday night and he swung the bat amazing to.”

With Jason Heyward out for the season, Jordan will have to continue to produce out of the leadoff spot and help his Braves get home field advantage.  He is a huge part of the teams success and will have PT in the playoffs.  If I was filling out the lineup card in game 1 of the playoffs with everyone healthy, I’d have Justin Upton in left, Jason Heyward in right and Jordan Schafer in center.

 

 

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