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Jordan Schafer, The #1 Atlanta Braves Prospect

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Baseball America posted the first of its thirty Top 10 Prospect lists a couple weeks ago. Unlike Baseball Prospectus, the BA guys have begun in the National League. Starting in the NL East, the Atlanta Braves are firsrt.

This year's top Braves prospect, Jordan Schafer, entered 2007 as the 27th ranked player in the Braves minor league system. Here is what BA wrote in its Baseball America Prospect Handbook 2007:

Schafer's production to this point has been lackluster...He also needs to improve his plate discipline and pitch recognition...he needs to start making some positive strides at the plate.

Here are the positive strides he made that propelled him from the bottom of the Braves Top 30 to the King of the Hill. 30 total extra base hits in Low A to 34 doubles in High A would do that. Nevermind he spent time in Low A and the Arizona Fall leage. All told, he had 50 doubles, 11 triples and 16 HRs. That would do it.

Year Team Lg Age Level G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO AVG OBP SLG CR
2005 GCL GCL 18 Rk 49 182 18 37 12 3 3 19 13 6 13 49 0.203 0.256 0.352 73.1%
2006 Rome SAL 19 A 114 388 49 93 15 7 8 60 15 9 28 94 0.24 0.293 0.376 75.8%
2007 Rome SAL 20 A 30 129 16 48 15 2 5 20 4 4 16 31 0.372 0.441 0.636 76.0%
2007 Myrtle Caro 20 A+ 106 436 70 128 34 8 10 43 19 11 40 95 0.294 0.354 0.477 78.2%
2007 Peoria AFL 20 24 96 19 31 6 1 1 14 10 2 12 23 0.323 .400 0.438 76.0%

More surprising than last draft's 1st round pick, Jason Heyward, having ascended to the #2 slot is the inclusion of the one of the prospects obtained in the Edgar Renteria trade - SP Jair Jurrjens. He was shut down at the end of last season with shoulder issues. Apparently, that was not held against him.

From a fantasy persepctive, I don't see anything wrong with five of the top six players. All are hitters. Two are likely to get major league time next year (Brandon Jones and Brent Lillibridge), and the other three will be listed amongst the top minor league draftees.

RK PLAYER POS
1 Jordan Schafer of
2 Jason Heyward of
3 Jair Jurrjens rhp
4 Brandon Jones of
5 Gorkys Hernandez of
6 Brent Lillibridge ss
7 Cole Rohrbough lhp
8 Jeff Locke lhp
9 Tommy Hanson rhp
10 Julio Teheran rhp

There is more information about the Braves system if you click through. See who BA has judged the best "X" in the organization. There is also a link to 2007's Top 10 list.