Once upon a time Jordan Schafer was thought to be the Atlanta Braves star of the future. Problems during his minor league years stifled that quite a bit over the past few years but this year things are turning around. Schafer has a higher batting average and more importantly a higher on base percentage than any other Braves outfielder. He has less at-bats which is a reason for some of that but on the other hand he is showing the ability to lead-off and get on base to make things happen.
It could be a flash in the pan but I don’t think so. Isn’t this exactly what he was supposed to be able to do? It seems that he is finally realizing the potential that was seen in him so long ago. Certainly a few good games doesn’t make a career but the question has to be asked what the Braves would do with Schafer if he proved to be worth as much as he once was thought to be.
As powerful as the Braves offense can be when it is on, one problem they have had is the lack of a good lead-off hitter. Andrelton Simmons has shown some ability in that area but also seems to have the makings of a great number two or seven hitter because of his ability to put the ball in play and move runners along in several ways. B.J. Upton hasn’t shown the kind of consistency necessary for a number one hitter and when he is really hitting well will certainly be better further down in the order.
So, what happens if Schafer is the perfect lead-off man for the Braves and they have nowhere for him to play? That, my friends is why Fredi Gonzalez and Frank Wren make all the big bucks. I’m glad I don’t have to make those decisions.