FanPost

Glimmer of Hope: Schafer

Ok, this one is harder.  I really have to squeeze my optimism glands as I drink my corn whiskey because I'm not a big Jordan Schafer fan.  But I realize that this off season I have to work extra hard to love my Astros because, as you all know, they were THAT bad.  Jordan Schafer has big shoes to fill...or at least some very fast ones (I don't know how big Bourn's feet are).  Michael Bourn was the best center fielder the Astros have had for as long as I can remember... wait maybe since Finley...no Beltran.   He was fast enough to track down damn near everything that made it over the pitcher's head and was pretty much a lock to win the NL stolen-base title.  He may not have been Willie Mays with the bat, but he didn't embarrass himself either.  Even if I stay on the sunny side when thinking about Schafer, I will still miss Bourn.

Schafer, of course, recently made the news by getting caught smoking marijuana while driving.  I don't really care too much about that although driving is not the best time to do anything (smoking something, shooting something, reading something, texting something, drinking something, banging something).  I care more about the fact that he hasn't been a very good player in the majors.  Wait, I'm staying positive...Jordan Schafer is fast.  Not Bourn fast, but then again no one is Bourn fast.  I don't hope for too much power from Schafer at this point.  He had some power in the minors but hasn't had much after his suspension and injuries.  How do I phrase this?  I won't be disappointed if he hits between 2 and 6 homers.  

However, I have hope that the Astros will get a positive contribution from him...but mostly from his glove.  So far the stats websites (fangraphs and baseball-reference) don't rate him very highly, but then they don't rate him embarrassingly bad either (fangraphs does rate him better than Bourn this season).  When I saw him play he looked pretty good in center, so I have hope that with more continuous playing time Schafer can become a good defender in center and maybe hit something like .250/.325/.330 with 20-30 steals...ugh... essentially Austin Jackson.  The bad thing (as if  his hitting ability wasn't enough of a bad thing) is that his speed will get him into the lead-off spot when his OBP says he should be batting 8th or so.  Maybe he can raise his BABIP.  Maybe a .300 BABIP for a guy with his speed is actually unlucky.  Please let his true BABIP to be .330 and his slash line turn into something like .270/.335/.340 .  Maybe the Astros can teach him to be a better bunter.  That must be a bad sign, when you hope a player improves his offensive production by bunting more.

I don't have a problem with building a team around extreme run prevention, if that is what the Astros hope to do.  Especially when they are so far away from competing.  They can try all the crazy stuff they want...

Oh hell, why did they get him in that trade?  Couldn't they have left him out and upgraded one of the pitching prospects into Minor or somebody?  Or gotten a high upside A ball player?  Schafer seems like a clone of Jason Bourgeois to me.  We already have Jason Bourgeois!  Hopefully one of them can play center next year. 

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