Michael Bourn

Speed guy makes good. Bourn was drafted by the Phillies out of the University of Houston in 2003, in the fourth round, and had a minor league career you’d expect with his talent base — decent average, walks, a lot of stolen bases, some doubles and triples power.

He had a cup of coffee in 2006 then was a fourth outfielder in 2006, hitting .277 and getting on-base at a .348 clip, but showing almost no power — just seven extra-base hits. After the season, he was traded to the Astros with two other players for Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett.

The Astros made him their center fielder, displacing Hunter Pence, but Bourn had a disastrous season, hitting .229/.288/.300, unprecedentedly low for him. It seems to have been a fluke. Playing every day over the last three years he’s hit .279/.348/.373, including a .303 average this year that might be just a little fluky. Slugging tends to vary from year to year; in his case, it’s actually due more to speed than anything as it’s affected by how many triples he hits.

He’s a great defensive player, as you have to be to handle center in that miniature golf course they call a ballpark in Houston. He is also probably the most accomplished basestealer in the game since the demise of Carlos Beltran’s legs, leading the NL in the category the last two years and doing it again so far this one. Therefore, Martin Prado is about to bunt a lot.

Michael Bourn Statistics

168 thoughts on “Michael Bourn”

  1. Good move for Braves. Will help with glove and base running. Should produce runs, which we need badly.

  2. Get ready to hear a lot of “Get ’em on, get ’em over, gett ’em in.”

    Oh, and Prado is about to get a lot of fastballs to hit.

  3. Concering Success and the good things players said about him. His fellow braves are quality people who appreciate that he played hurt in his last game and got hurt worse and still got a bunt hit and an outfield single that put Lugo on third to score winning run. Playing hurt as a rookie hindered him but doing it this year earned him respect.

  4. I think I would rather Fredi bat the pitcher second than have Prado bunt all the time.

    It would not surprise me if Fredi penciled him in at number 8 to hit in front of the pitcher. Then again, yes it would because I would not expect Fredi to be smart enough to think anything other than “SPEED GUY HITS FIRST CHECK!”

    Fredi is a pretty stupid human specimen.

  5. Please bear with me while I clarify my understanding. Frank Wren is stupid, but not as stupid as he was Saturday; and Fredi is just as stupid today as he was last week. Is that about right?

  6. Didn’t Fredi let Hanley run pretty often in Florida? Maybe it’s just wishful thinking on my part, but I’d have to think he’d give Bourn the green light quite a bit to.
    It’s one thing to have a bad hitter like Nate bunt over a poor base stealer like Prado. It’s another to have a good hitter like Prado bunt over a guy like Bourn who can probably go get the bag himself 80 percent of the time.

  7. @9

    I read somewhere where DOB confirmed that Success had a green light all the time. I would think Bourn will be running a lot.

  8. @8 – I expect Spike to chime in any minute to point out it was just Prado getting hot and not Schafer getting on that cut down on the calls for bunts. Hopefully Prado stays hot so Fredi doesn’t make him bunt Bourn over.

  9. why would I say that? Don’t misconstrue my pointing out to you that you score less runs after getting on in the 8 spot rather than 1st as anything other than an explanation of why Success seemed to score more frequently than Nate.

  10. I do think it’s rather poetic that “The Bourn Identity” for the Braves begins in the hub of espionage, Washington, DC. Yes, a pun.

  11. I watched “Bourn Identity” on cable last night. It’s a fun movie but man, Julia Stiles is worthless.

  12. Third that Rob

    And now DOB says it will be the Summer of George or Varvaro getting sent down. I am guessing Proctor got out some new pictures of Wren or was contacted by Lockhart and given his

  13. Has there been an interviews with Bourn yet? I always enjoy those. I remember when Nate bawled his eyes out when he had to leave the Pirates.

  14. All I remember about the Nate acquisition is the candle-lighting that took place in the Pirates clubhouse, allegedly in memory of their departed brother. I bet it was really just to get rid of the smell of his hair dye. I’d view it as a really bad sign for Bourn’s future if he cries too.

  15. DOB…

    Braves still haven’t announced roster move or lineup. Check what I said about Proctor. Now could simply be Constanza or Varvaro

    9 minutes ago

  16. Like Jordan Schafer, Nicky’s value was maximized by having a potent slugger behind her.

  17. I’m imagining Proctor slowly driving by Wren’s house, holding up the manila envelope containing The Pictures as Wren peers through a crack in the blinds. DOB gets a call shortly thereafter retracting the Proctor DFA rumor.

  18. @20, I thought she was pretty mediocre in “Dexter.” Then again, John Lithgow’s performance in season 4 is pretty tough to follow.

  19. Chipper’s fielded ground balls, but is out tonight. This would be my guess w/a righty on the mound.


  20. “How is what you described ’11th dimensional chess’? Wren was probably (as all other GMs do) driving up the price on other teams by getting involved in the bidding for Hunter Pence. That occurs in every market. Think of it as an auction: the more people that are bidding on an object, the higher the price of that object is going to be. That’s not complicated.” (from the last thread)

    Sure, it’s not complicated–and of course it’s not really 11th dimensional chess. My point was simply that we should just assume the simplest explanation as the best explanation. The probability that Wren involved himself in the Pence talks so as to screw Philly and/or whet Wade’s appetite for Braves’ prospects is low; he was probably involved in the Pence talks to trade for Pence.

  21. Fredi LaRussa’s lineup:

    From DOB: #Braves lineup: 1. Bourn CF, 2. Prado 3B, 3. Freeman 1B, 4. Uggla 2B, 5. Heyward RF, 6. Ross C, 7. Gonzalez SS, 8. Jurrjens P 9 Constanza LF

  22. Per DOB, “last Braves pitcher to hit anywhere but 8th Lew Burdette vs Cubs 7/29/59.”

  23. At least he’s showing creativity. Might even be optimal, depending on what he thinks Constanza’s chances of getting on base are.

  24. @32

    I don’t think I mind that lineup at all. What the hell? He’s being creative, and if you get T-Bone and Bourn on base back-to-back, finally you can create some runs.

    Of course, he’ll just blow it by having Prado bunt, but still….

  25. #39- My guess is now that Fredi is going to try an offense that lets the antelopes loose on the base paths. Hey, it’s a better form of small ball than “productive outs.”

    #40- That made me chuckle. I’m right there with ya.

  26. This really does support my earlier theory that Fredi is Larussa 2.0. If I see an SUV stopped at a green light with a snoring driver somewhere around Atlanta, I’ll pop an audio version of Tom Tango’s The Book into Fredi’s CD player and keep driving. Maybe he’ll wake up in jail with an understanding of leverage index and wOBA.

  27. 44 – LOL

    I don’t see any huge problems with it yet. Whether he’s hitting 8th or 9th, it’s not like JJ is going to have many bunting opportunities hitting behind AAG anyway. And late in the game, we’ll get to a PH spot earlier, which could be good. I wouldn’t do it with someone slow in the 9-hole, cuz you might waste Bourn’s speed if he’s on base behind a slow guy, but it might work with T-Bone there.

    Then again, we’ll see.

  28. Upon reflection, can’t we just move Jurrjens up to #7 and move AAG down to #8, which is now apparently the pitcher’s spot?

  29. Watching Ross mouth the words to every Motown song they play on the PA. Right now, “Heatwave.”

  30. @50 “Emmy-winning” has as much connection to quality as OBP has to offensive success. At least that’s what Chip tells me.

  31. @43, Gotta disagree with you there. Lithgow’s performance was impeccable. I never thought that the guy from “Third Rock From the Sun” could be scary, but he was terrifying. Stiles on the other hand just played some girl. Which is fine for that part I guess, but it lacked depth in my opinion. Excited for season six though.

  32. I just checked John Lithgow’s imdb page and I am a bit shocked that he’s been nominated for two Oscars.

  33. I’ve never been so happy to see a slap single to the opposite field.

    NO BUNTING!!!!

  34. Welcome to the Braves, Michael. You’re probably going to have steal even more bases than you did in Houston with luck like that.

  35. Lithgow was terrific as the freaked-out airplane passenger in the ill-fated “Twilight Zone” movie. And though I thought “The World According to Garp” was overrated, he was really good as Roberta Muldoon.

  36. 5.68 ERA and 1.42 WHIP for JJ since the All-Star Break. Am I overreacting to be a tad concerned?

  37. I was going to have only 2 beers tonight, but apparently Jair Jurrjens wants me to have more than that.

  38. @88 – I think we can assume that Snitker will start throwing up stop signs for them with regularity, just to maximize his incompetence.

  39. @95 Eric Gregg inhabits the body of the home plate ump whenever Livan faces the braves.

  40. Wow, good thing Costanza wasn’t batting eighth… of course, Freddy would have had HIM bunt into that DP instead.

  41. It’s even more annoying when you’re listening on radio and hear Don Sutton say “Jurrjens bunting, and it’s a beauty. (pause) Wow can’t believe he went there. On to first for the double play”

  42. FYI: the Phillies had a 56-48 record coming into August 1st last season. The Giants were 61-47.

    At 63-47, the Braves just need to get healthy and rolling now. The runs will come.

    (but they might lose tonight)

  43. Why do we not throw the high fastball to Ankiel when he has two strikes? I don’t think I saw him lay off that pitch one time last year.

  44. Was this Ankiel guy available at the deadline? Maybe we should have traded for him. Gosh knows we could have used someone like that in the playoffs last year.

  45. #121
    Braves are actually in the top half of the league in walks (7th). But they’re near the bottom in batting average (13th).

    Thanks goodness we’re near the top in HRs (3rd). In fact, we could use a couple more tonight.

  46. I have a plan. There will be a lot of waiver wire action going on this week..

    Just claim 25 new players!

  47. Here in DC ushering in Bourn with a third Old Fashioned. Watching this circus is sobering.

  48. Could this kid be the RHP we need? He’s looked very good in his few appearances.

  49. Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling. From glen to glen, and down the mountain side. The summer’s gone and all the flowers dying. ‘Tis you, you that must go and I abide.

  50. We’ve gotten one miracle here, so maybe we’ll get another one and a three-run comeback.

  51. @156+157 I think that relates to each other. And that’s because we are taking much less walks this year. Thanks Parrish.

  52. I hate hate HATE Alex Gonzalez. He has the worst approach I’ve ever seen. That includes Frenchy.

  53. mind boggling that AAG is hitting in that spot.
    he has to be the dumbest manager in baseball.

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