When Jason Heyward went to the hospital for an appendectomy, the Atlanta Braves had to cringe. Though the slugger has been struggling, he is still a huge presence in the line-up. No one could have expected the impact Jordan Schafer would have coming in this season however. He has stepped up even more since the Heyward surgery.
First of all I am not saying that Schafer will replace anyone in the Braves outfield. What I am saying is considering how his spring started, this season’s start is one that no one thought would happen. His average and on base percentage is higher than either Heyward or current center fielder B.J. Upton. He continues to come up with RBI when the chance arises and is constantly on base. As a matter of fact, he has hit safely in every game he has started since Heyward went down.
The spring started with Schafer on Fredi Gonzalez’s nasty list because he was late showing up in a situation where it would seem to have been easy to be early. I speculated at the time that Schafer would have to pull one heck of a rabbit out of his hat to make it past the first round of roster cuts. Not only did he do that but he has a .400 average and the .500 OBP to show that he still has plenty of potential left in him.
After he kind of squandered the chance he was given a few years ago, many expected Schafer’s chance at starting outfielder was gone. I’m not saying it will be with the Braves but with this performance it seems that Schafer could have his career’s second wind in 2013.