Jordan Schafer is quite the interesting prospect. He was originally drafted by the Atlanta Braves in the third round of the 2005 MLB draft. Within a few seasons, he was anointed as the center fielder of the future for the Braves and rated as one of the top prospects in their entire system and one of the top prospects in all of baseball. On July 21, 2011, after a very tumultuous minor league career, he was finally traded to the Houston Astros, along with Paul Clemens, Brett Oberholtzer and Juan Abreu, as part of a package for Michael Bourn.
Schafer’s minor league career was very odd to say the least. In April 2008, he was suspended for 50 games for HGH use. Interestingly enough, Schafer never actually tested positive for HGH use, he was just accused of it. Schafer, of course, denied HGH use and blamed his accusation of using the drug on “hanging around the wrong people”. Schafer served his 50 game suspension and then finished out the year strong for the Braves AA team. That would be the last time he put up numbers worthy of a top prospect as he would struggle at the plate and with injuries over the next few years.
His trade to the Astros could be viewed as a nice change of scenery for Schafer as he never really found his niche in Atlanta after being suspended for HGH. Upon being acquired by the Astros, he was immediately plugged into the everyday starting lineup as the team’s center fielder. His offensive results were less than impressive as he hit a mere .245 with 1 home run and 6 RBI in 118 plate appearances. His defense was better but still, then General Manager Ed Wade, must have hoped that Schafer would shape back into the top prospect he had been viewed as when he was drafted by the Braves. He still has a chance to capture that magic he had however, off field problems seem to keep coming up with Schafer. I sincerely hope he turns his life around for his own sake but also hope that he can reinvent himself as the great prospect he once was. My prediction for Schafer is that he will be the Astros opening day center fielder.