clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Jordan Schafer, who can't possibly be worse than B.J. Upton

If you're in a deep league, Schafer might be up for a job, and he'll get you some stolen bases.

Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

You know what baseball writing needs more of? Tables!

So-far slash lines of the Braves whose slash lines I felt like showing you:

Evan Gattis .211 .211 .421 69
Jason Heyward .188 .278 .375 78
Dan Uggla .194 .188 .258 22
Justin Upton .200 .273 .200 34

Just FYI, but I haven't heard more than a peep about any of these guys struggling, despite the fact that the four - ostensibly power guys - have combined for three home runs. And why have the struggles of these varying-levels-of-stars been so anonymous in their awfulness?

B.J. Upton .138 .138 .172 -15 (NEGATIVE-15, Y'ALL)

It would be hard to be much worse than B.J. Upton has been so far in 2014 and still have a pulse. Your buddy Dave, the one who drinks a few beers and brags that he could outdo that pro athlete? When it comes to 2014 B.J. Upton, Dave might actually be right.

(Crap. I was writing this around 8 Thursday night. I didn't think about the whole "stats change after the game" thing. And Justin freakin' Upton homered. Twice. Drat. Oh well, my main points still apply. Unless B.J. homers later in the game, in which case damn it all.)

And as bad as some of the other Braves have been - Freddie Freeman excepted - no level of awfulness can compare to Bossman Junior's. He's come to the plate 29 times and struck out 13, walking zero. He has no runs, no RBI, only one double. He is perfect on stolen-base attempts, but that's just 1-for-1, so let's not get crazy here.

The Braves, too, have finally responded to Upton's abject terribleness. He sat out Wednesday's game, and, while he was back in the lineup Thursday, the rope is definitely running out of slack. And if/when that does happen, the Braves are not exactly flush with outfield options. Ryan Doumit and Tyler Pastronicky are both listed as outfielders on the team's depth chart, but those are both "break glass in case of emergency" options. So is Gattis, who can fake left field in desperation. No one on that list can play center field. Heyward could if needed, but in reality, the only real not-B.J. option the Braves have for center field is Jordan Schafer.

The 27-year-old Schafer hasn't ever gotten a full-time shot as a big-leaguer. Of course, he hasn't really warranted one, as he's put up a career .226/.310/.309 slash line in 1,163 plate appearances. Still, he was once a top prospect in the Braves system, putting up a .294/.354/.477 slash line in 481 plate appearances as a 20-year-old in 2007. While the production never really got back to that level, he does still do one thing reasonably well - he runs.

In limited playing time - never more than 106 games in a season - Schafer, despite never reaching base as often as you might like, has topped 20 steals in each of the last three seasons, maxing out at 27 with Houston in 2012.

Basically, Schafer figures to hit for average a little better than Upton - though, again, so could Dave - while actually providing positive contributions in at least one fantasy category, steals. A little luck, maybe the glory of being 27 years old, he could even bump up to a worthwhile contributor in runs, batting average, that sort of thing. But worst case, he has those steals.

And that's a heck of a lot more than B.J. Upton has right now.