Thursday, April 25, 2013

Jordan Schafer's Turnaround

Atlanta Braves selected Jordan Schafer in the third round of the 2005 MLB Draft. In 2008, he was suspended 50 games by the MLB after he was accused of using HGH. Schafer was named the Braves starting CF before the 2009 season, despite never having played at a higher level than AA. He made his major league debut on April 5, 2009 against the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park. In his first at-bat, he took Brett Myers deep for his first career HR, becoming the 99th player in MLB history to do so.

News Photo: Jordan Schafer of the Atlanta Braves bats against…
PHILADELPHIA - APRIL 05: Jordan Schafer #24 of the Atlanta Braves bats against the Philadelphia Phillies on April 5, 2009 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

Schafer finished the game 2-for-3 with his solo HR, single, an intentional walk, and a strikeout. His future seemed bright, but that was not the case. Less than two months after making his major league debut, Schafer was optioned to AAA Gwinnett after hitting .204/.313/.287 with 2 HRs and 8 RBI in 50 games played. He did not return to the big league club until May of 2011. At the trade deadline in 2011, Schafer was part of the trade that was sent to the Houston Astros for Michael Bourn. In 30 games with the Astros that season, Schafer continued to struggle with a triple slash line of .245/.314/.311 1 HR and 6 RBI. 
That off season, Schafer got into trouble with the law. He was arrested on a felony marijuana charge. The St. Petersburg Times reported that Schafer was found with 25.9 grams of marijuana in his car, which carries a 3rd degree felony charge. 

News Photo: Jordan Schafer of the Atlanta Braves lays down…
DENVER, CO - APRIL 23: Jordan Schafer #17 of the Atlanta Braves lays down a successful sacrifice bunt during the ninth inning against the Colorado Rockies at Coors Field on April 23, 2013 in Denver, Colorado. The Braves defeated the Rockies 4-3 in the first game of a doubleheader. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

This past off season, Braves claimed Schafer off waivers. Schafer realized he should not take his career for granted and came to spring training ready to go to work. His improvements showed this spring and made the big league club as the 5th outfielder. The thung I've noticed about Schafer is he is does not take anything granted and when he gets an opportunity to play, he has taken full advantage of it. So far this season in 12 games, he's hit .438/.550/.500 with 2 RBI and 3 stolen bases. He's realized that he may never get another opportunity like this and it is awesome to see him play the way he has this season.

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