Just another depth signing for an outfield that is deeper than most. In other words, things would have to go really badly for the Schafer to make it to LA. That, or he just blows everyone away during Spring Training.
Via Jon Heyman on twitter, the Dodgers have inked one-time top Braves prospect, turned journeyman outfielder, Jordan Schafer to a minor league deal.
He'll apparently get a nice little bump should he make it to the Major Leagues. You can follow him on twitter here: @JordanSchafer.Jordan schafer agrees to dodgers minors deal. $1M in majors.— Jon Heyman (@JonHeyman) January 13, 2016
Schafer is an 29-years old left-handed speedster who hasn't had a strong enough bat to stick in the Majors. He has slashed an career average of .228/.308/.307/.615 and has stolen 103 bases in 133 attempts over parts of six seasons. Last year, after a fairly successful 2014, he was the Twins Opening Day starting center fielder, but was released in mid-June by the club. The Twins youth movement was in full gear, so Schafer became expendable. In 2014 he slashed a respectable .285/.345/.362/.707.
BTW, he did do something very notable with the bat that involved a home run trot. On April 5, 2009 he became the 99th player in Major League history to hit a home run in his very first at-bat. It was off Brett Myers of the Phillies.
On the negative side, he was also the very first player suspended by Major League Baseball's Department of Investigations in 2008 for HGH (human growth hormone). There was also a little marijuana possession incident while with the Astros in 2011.
On another note, Ken Gurnick at MLB.com tells us that Schafer's potential role with the club might be stranger than you could imagine: "Dodgers to try outfielder Schafer on mound, too." Wha...?
The Dodgers envision Schafer in a hybrid role as a defense-first center fielder and a left-handed reliever, with the emphasis on pitching. He was a pitcher in high school but has not taken the mound in a professional game.In celebration of his signing I made the above fantasy card of him. The photograph is from a Pucketts Pond post (image via Brad Rempel at USA Today) and I used the 1982 Topps Baseball card design.
Below are his career statistics, via Baseball-Reference:
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