Jordan Schafer

The former Future All Star/Next Andruw Jones/Suspended for PEDs/Home Run in his First AB/F@%*ing Success/Traded to and Released by the LAstros, was the 25th man on the roster last season. It was presumed he would be released or traded by the time Brian McCann came off the DL. Really, it seemed his most important role was keeping Jose Constanza off the roster.

Actually, Jordan Schafer was one of the big surprises of the team last year. When Jason Heyward had is appendectomy, Schafer stepped in and actually played really well. Until he fouled a ball off his ankle in late June he was hitting .312 with an OPS of .863 and was probably on his way to keeping BJ Upton on the bench. After his return from the DL, he couldn’t find the magic at the plate and finished with a .247 average and a .667OPS. Those were still, easily, career highs.

Schafer is a useful player. He is a good base runner (22-for-28 in steals), a good outfielder, has a good arm, and he walks a little (29 times in 265 PA in 2013, career walk rate above 10%). On the other hand, he strikes out waaaay too much (73 K in 2013) and has very little power (.311 career SLG). Schafer has to find ways to get on base to be a Success. Any time he puts the ball on the ground, he has a good shot at reaching base. Any time he is on first, he has a great shot to go to third on a single or score on a double.

This is a very important year for Schafer. He’s 27 and should be in his offensive prime.

Best Case Scenario: He shows the first half of 2013 was no fluke, forcing the Braves to put him in the lineup.
Worst Case Scenario: He strikes out a bunch, develops a terrible attitude and is released by July.

My Barber’s Prediction: “Schafer shows he is good for a start or two a week and becomes a ‘Fredi Gonzalez Sunday All-Star.’ He comes in as a defensive replacement late in games and makes a game saving catch or two. He will fill in for Heyward for a few weeks and put up a decent line. Fredi will have him run for El Oso Blanco in late game situations. I think he hits .245 with an OPS of .675 with 25 SB.”

I’ll take that from my fourth outfielder.

118 thoughts on “Jordan Schafer”

  1. Who does he replace as a late-game defensive substitution? I don’t see them telling Jupton to hit the pine to get Schafer’s glove in the game.

  2. It’s sad that, based on Schafer’s age and healthy times last year, he almost seems to have as much upside in value as Bupton. .750 OPS, good defense and speed. I want Liberty’s money back.

  3. If the Braves have a 3 run lead in the late innings and JUpton has batted in the previous half, yes, Success! should go in defensively for him.

  4. 20 steals from a fourth OF is really good. If he can get on base at a .350 clip then he is REALLY useful.

  5. If he gets on base at .350 he’s pushing BJ as a full time platoon in CF, regardless of how well BJ rebounds.

  6. Love the Simmons extension. That’s the one I’ve been waiting on. Doesn’t seem like Heyward is going to be satisfied with the types of deals the Braves have been signing the others to, but I hope they can lock him in as well. Then on to the pitchers!!

  7. $1M, $3M, $6M, $8M, $11M, $13M, $15M. Hmm. They are really assuming a considerable increase in revenue when the stadium opens.

  8. @16 Heyward would be wise to have a full productive year this year and he’ll probably end up being the most expensive of all these guys.

  9. @17

    That’s based on the fact that he’s in his second pre arb year right now so his arb years are 6, 8, 11 and 2 free agency years of 13 and 15. If you’re getting 6 dWAR out of him every year then that’s pretty reasonable.

  10. @21—I’m hoping that extending everyone at the same time negates those stories, because no one will feel individualized pressure because he was “the guy” the team extended. I’m sure the first one to go through a slump, though, will get that label slapped on him.

  11. @19

    Certainly a great deal based on current and project value, but the dollars committed are really adding up. It seems like 2017 has almost $100M committed to just 9 or 10 players. What are they projecting their payroll budget to be?

  12. A couple of things:

    First, keep in mind that the Braves have and extra $25 mil from national TV. It’s quite possible that Liberty is NOT pocketing that.

    Second, keep always in the back of your mind that very soon, Mike Trout and his projected $35-40m per year free agent deal is going to hit the market like a dinosaur killing meteor from outer space. If that plays out as expected, in 2019 a $15m per year deal looks a lot more like a $7 mil per year deal would today.

  13. Yay.

    I do wonder if the reason behind this cost certainty is just the front office wanting to know stuff or if it goes beyond that to making the value of the team more clear for a sale.

  14. @26 – The reason is simple. The new stadium will be great but if a lousy team plays there it won’t matter how nice of a place it is. So far the contracts seem to be back loaded to take into account the anticipated revenue from all the folks that are going to spend their entertainment dollars in White Flight Field, then having dinner and drinks at White Flight Entertainment Complex.

    Locking up the core = great move by Wren, Hart, Braves and yes Liberty Media.

    Now get Minor Frank and you get an A+ this off season.

  15. I completely understand the inflation of player salaries, and the impact of the elite player’s contract on the rest of the market. At the end of the day, though, Liberty’s budget is what their budget is. They must be envisioning a big increase to their top line for them to increase their player expenses. I wonder how high the budget will get. Mike Trout, make it happen!

  16. Wow, it feels strange to have this much certainty about the future of the Braves. Not since the 90’s.

    Best off season in a long time.

  17. Schafer did play very well in RF last year. He displayed a good arm, which surprised me. He has the potential to bring value as a 4 th outfielder, and on the bases.
    RE Liberty Mutual, Could it be the plan to sell the club within the next couple years, and therefore making it a more attractive asset to increase the sale price?

  18. This is the best extension. I kind of thought Simmons would look at Elvis Andrus and want at least that deal (he’s better, after all) and that the Braves would balk at doing it and he’d arb out or whatever.

    The fact that they came together and got this done and we’ll have Andrelton around for the next 7 years makes me really happy.

  19. If the dude gets his OBP above .310 AND shows the power he did last year, the deal REALLY looks good.

    Wow, heartbreak for Team USA.

  20. Awesome news about Simmons. Back-loaded contracts — we’ll let future-Braves-execs worry about that stuff.

  21. @39 Wow, that’s despicable. Can’t imagine that’s going to help them attract future talent. If I were a college player and the Phillies were looking at me, I’d tell them not to bother.

  22. Tracy Ringlosby has a bit up at MLB.com about the Braves’ offseason to date. It’s pretty good stuff, but most here might be most interested in this nugget.

    The Braves committed nearly $225 million for 20 years of service from Freeman (eight years, $135 million), Teheran (six years, $32.4 million), Kimbrel (four years, $42 million), Simmons (7 years, $58 million) and Heyward (two years, $13.3 million). The expectation is that after next season, the Heyward deal can be expanded so that he, too, will be locked up at least through the first year in the new ballpark.

    Full article.

  23. Personally I think we got pretty good deals with Heyward, Teheran, and Kimbrel. The Freeman and Simmons extensions are a bit pricey. Nevertheless, I am very happy that these deals are done. Next should definitely be Minor.

  24. @47, that’s correct. Because it’s the system that made him break the rules. Every single amateur player has representation. Technically, that representation should be by an “advisor” rather than an agent, but remember, Scott Boras always represents the best prospects coming into the draft. Every single one of them is breaking either the letter or the spirit of that rule.

  25. I actually fear Amaro could get fired for this, the backlash could be tremendous. It would be bad for the Braves if Philly actually had a competent GM.

  26. I wouldn’t even want Amaro suspended. Even a short period of time with him vacant from the helm could lead to catastrophically smart decisions for the Fightin’s.

  27. I believe Wren is close to extending a batboy (Age 17 now) through his age 30 season. Locks up those batboy prime years.

  28. Schafer didn’t get used as a defensive replacement for any of our 3 regular OFs late in close games last season (including JUp) one time…NOT ONCE. So that trend isn’t magically going to reverse this season. Even when Gattis was in LF, BJ was brought in as his replacement.

    He’s a decent backup option, but Schafer won’t be any every day player (in Atlanta anyway) again because he’s a career .173 hitter against LHP. Yeah, he has some speed but he strikes outs almost 3x as much as he walks, and that’s beyond terrible for a pt player. As the old saying goes, “You can’t steal 1B,” and that makes Schafer a liability anywhere outside of the 8 hole in the lineup. At best, he will platoon with BJ if BJ struggles again, but I don’t see him playing anything but RF since Heyward is our 2nd best CF option. Heyward has proven to be a much more capable and trustworthy CF replacement to BJ. Terdoslavich (if he makes the roster) will see the bulk to the time in LF when JUp needs a day off.

  29. Kim Hudson tweeted today that her son asked Tim who was really nice on the Giants, “like, who’s going to be my Brian McCann?” I know production-wise the Braves will (hopefully) not really miss Hudson and McCann, but sentimentally I sure will. I’m hating the pictures of them in their new uniforms. It looks all wrong. I’m really thankful for the last three weeks’ extensions extravaganza, because that excitement has helped taper the sadness of losing the two longest-tenured Braves over the offseason. Being able to watch actual baseball games again soon will also help, I’m sure!

  30. Ruben, Ruben, he’s our ace,
    He keeps the Phillies in third place!

    Wow, third? Why so high on the 2014 Phillies? Most seem to think they’re going to battling the Marlins for fourth-place.

  31. Braves Journal Fantasy League Update:
    It looks like we have 1 spot available. Let me know if you want in. My email is cothrjr at Hotmail dot com

  32. Greetings from Zhongshan, China…

    Very exciting news about Andrelton. Looks like we’ll be seeing great SS defense for years to come.

    As they say around these parts: Ding hao! (i.e., good job!)

  33. Has a GM ever gotten canned during spring training? Between the NCAA scandal and Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez, Amaro really could make history.

  34. I hate to say it, but I honestly think the Mets could be a dark horse. They’ve got high-upside pitching even with Harvey out, and the best single player in the division. They were only garden-variety bad last year, not horrific, and they’ve improved with room to improve further.

    I don’t think they’re as good as Atlanta or Washington (that offense is ugly if D’Arnaud and Davis don’t show up), but with a little luck (and maybe Stephen Drew, if he gets desperate), they could be troublesome.

  35. Didn’t they lose like two of their best players from last years’ team? Marlon Byrd, who wasn’t going to repeat anyway, is now gone, and Harvey’s out for the whole year. They’re better than the Marlins, but that’s not exactly a high bar.

  36. All good news on the Braves front. Doesn’t like we will get any more extensions this spring, but who knows ?

    On the other hand, I went with my daughter to enjoy some fresh air, sunshine, and Georgia Tech baseball this afternoon – a truly wonderful late Feb experience.

  37. Well, the Braves struggled with the Mets last year, going 10-9, not so great considering the Mets’ record. Of course, it’s inevitable that every year every good team will struggle with some bad teams. (The Braves were also 1-5, I believe against the Padres.) So, it’s not as if the Braves beat up on the Mets.

  38. David Wright’s great and Zach Wheeler’s good. But it’s just awfully hard to point to anyone else on the Mets who makes you nervous. Some day, the best player in the division may be Bryce Harper; for now, it’s very possible that it’s Jose Fernandez.

  39. Top 10 players in the division for 2014?

    Hmm…

    1. Fernandez
    2. Heyward (maybe 3)
    3. Wright (maybe 2)
    4. Simmons
    5. Harper
    6. Lee (maybe 7)
    7. Hamels (maybe 6)
    8. Freeman
    9. Utley
    10. Stanton

    With the next six or seven guys a cluster of Braves starting pitchers, Nats starting pitchers, and Jayson Werth.

    My hat’s in the ring on this one. There are your top 10 NL east players of 2014.

  40. Top NL East Players 2014:

    1. Lee
    2. Wright
    3. Strasburg
    4. Hamels
    5. Desmond
    6. Simmons
    7. Stanton
    8. Freeman
    9. Gonzalez
    10. Minor

  41. Top 10 NL East 2014:

    1. Lee
    2. Wright
    3. Strasburg
    4. Hamels
    5. Harper
    6. Simmons
    7. JUpton (I BELIEVE!!!!)
    8. Freeman
    9. Fernandez
    10. Zimmerman

  42. 1. Simmons
    2. Heyward
    3. Freeman
    4. Gattis
    5. Teheran
    6. Minor
    7. JUpton
    8. Medlen
    9. Beachy
    10. Uggla

    You gotta believe or be delusional.

  43. #83
    I wish, just got back to the States.

    #89
    It was a junket with a pro-audio company. Visit factory, schmooze, try to identify what you’re eating (pig-lung soup?) Quite an experience.

  44. @87, sounds like the Miguel Alfredo Gonzalez of position players.

    Cuban players are real wild cards. No one really knew what we’d get from Puig or Cespedes, or Jose Abreu. There certainly is potential to get a steal, but on the other hand, these people are playing in a closed society that has lost much of its baseball talent due to defection. You really have to rely on your scouts because the stat translation is just not going to be very reliable. Fortunately, the Braves have a good international scouting operation, as Julio Teheran could tell you.

    It sounds like this guy falls somewhere on the spectrum between Diory Hernandez and Martin Prado — a supersub who doesn’t quite have the glove for short or the power for corner infield, who either could be super versatile with a pretty good bat or just could wash out altogether. Where exactly he ends up is anybody’s guess.

  45. 1. Wright
    2. Strasburg
    3. Stanton
    4. Harper
    5. Heyward
    6. Simmons
    7. JUpton
    8. Freeman
    9. Kimbrel
    10. Hamels

  46. Definitely wild that after all these years consensus here still has David Wright as one of the top two players in the division. #1, two #2’s, and a #3 (with a #2 caveat). Respect.

    I’m still not on the Strasburg train. I only see him as very good. I expect a season from him in line with his teammates Zimmermann and Gonzalez and our Medlen/Minor/Teheran.

    My sense is that the Burger can’t miss enough bats if he stays in the zone, and he can’t keep enough guys from reaching base if he stays out of the zone.*

    *enough to be a cy young pitcher, I mean. I’d love to have him on my team.

  47. I received some good news today. I was asked to send in an application for a Braves blogging site for a staff writing position and was informed earlier today that I got the job. The details are a bit sticky right now so I’ll fill you guys in later. The opportunity would have never presented itself if it weren’t for the generosity of the Braves Journal guys letting me do a few offseason blog posts. Thanks so much and I’m really exited. It’s funny that the site that I’ll be writing on soon will be second in line to this site. Very happy.

  48. Congratulations!

    Unless it keeps you from performing essential Commissioner duties in the Crowhoppers league. You will be un-congratulated if that is the case.

  49. Thanks for the love, guys and gals. Smitty, I’m not at liberty to say yet but I’ll have more info later today.

  50. Ramis dying makes me feel very old. To me, “Ghostbusters” seems like just yesterday. Sigh.

    And Hank Aaron is 80. Jeez.

  51. @111 – LOL. Not funny to Mike but that line in the article ‘How do you rehab that’ is dang funny.

    @110 – I too am feeling old. I work with guys that don’t remember Stripes and Ghostbusters. Wow.

  52. #111
    I don’t quote Lewis Grizzard very often, but as The Pride of Moreland, Ga., once said: “I don’t believe I’da told that!”

    ryan c,
    Congrats & good luck!

  53. “Groundhog Day” is a film that finds its note and purpose so precisely that its genius may not be immediately noticeable. It unfolds so inevitably, is so entertaining, so apparently effortless, that you have to stand back and slap yourself before you see how good it really is.

    Certainly I underrated it in my original review; I enjoyed it so easily that I was seduced into cheerful moderation. But there are a few films, and this is one of them, that burrow into our memories and become reference points. When you find yourself needing the phrase This is like “Groundhog Day” to explain how you feel, a movie has accomplished something.

    – Roger Ebert

  54. Reading the thing about Minor made me cringe. I really wish I didn’t know that particular information.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *