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Article: 2015 Projections and Rankings: Jordan Schafer


In the last few days, we reviewed and made predictions about the 2015 seasons of the Twins infielders. Today, we continue to make our projections and rankings of the Twins outfielders by looking at the center field position.

 

Jordan Schafer will go into the season as the Twins starting center fielder. At some point in the season, we may see Aaron Hicks getting another opportunity. And, by the end of the season, there is some chance that we could get our first glimpse of Byron Buxton. Today, we’ll make predictions for Jordan Schafer.MINNESOTA TWINS – JORDAN SCHAFER

 

Once a top prospect in all of baseball, Jordan Schafer has been through some personal demons. However, he got another chance with the Braves in 2013 and became a solid fourth outfielder. He began 2014 with the Braves. However, through the midway point in the season, he had just 93 plate appearances in 63 games played. He was basically just a late-innings defensive replacement and pinch runner. It would be difficult for anyone to put up decent numbers with that infrequent playing time. The Braves designated Schafer for assignment.

 

The Twins had just traded outfielder Sam Fuld at the trade deadline and wanted another outfielder. Schafer fits the Sam Fuld mold, probably a fourth outfielder, but capable of starting for a period of time too. In the season’s final two months, he played most every day. In 41 games (and 147 plate appearances), he hit .285/.345/.362 (.707) with 30 stolen bases. Did playing every day allow him to play well, or should we only note that in his 1,398 total big league plate appearances, he has a .229/.311/.310 (.621) slash line?

 

The reality is that it’s probably somewhere in the middle. Schafer is a different person, more mature and more experienced at age 28 than when he first came to the big leagues. What he did as a 23- or 24- or 25- year-old isn’t necessarily what he is today. And yes, playing every day should be better for him (or most anyone) than playing in one of two games and maybe getting four or five plate appearances each week.

 

Our Twins Daily writers make their predictions:

 

 

Seth – .268/.324/.351 (.675) with 16 doubles and 4 HR.

Nick – .250/.315/.340 (.655) with 15 doubles and 3 HR.

Parker – .260/.330/.350 (.690) with 10 doubles and 1 HR

John – .250/.330/.340 (.690) with 18 doubles and 2 HR (and 30+ SB).

 

 

AL CENTRAL CENTER FIELDERS

 

Opponent – Player – 2015 Age – 2014 Statistics

Chicago – Adam Eaton – 26 - .300/.362/.401 (.763) with 26 doubles, 1-HR

Cleveland – Michael Bourn – 32 - .257/.314/.360 (.674) with 17 doubles, 3-HR

Detroit – Anthony Gose – 24 - .226/.311/.293 (.604) with 8 doubles, 2-HR

Kansas City – Lorenzo Cain – 29 - .301/.339/.412 (.751) with 29 doubles, 5-HR

 

 

AL CENTRAL CENTER FIELD RANKINGS

 

#1 – Adam Eaton - Chicago

#2 – Lorenzo Cain – Kansas City

#3 – Michael Bourn – Cleveland

#4 – Jordan Schafer – Minnesota

#5 – Anthony Gose – Detroit

 

 

NOW IT’S YOUR TURN

 

Give it a little thought and then go to the comments section below and post two things. First, make your statistical projection for Jordan in 2015. Second, how would you rank the AL Central center fielders? Then discuss your thoughts with the rest of the Twins Daily community on the Twins center field position. How will it play out throughout the season? Check back throughout this next week as we’ll do these same things for each of the positions.

 

 

PREVIOUS PREDICTIONS AND RANKINGS

 

Kurt Suzuki

Joe Mauer

Brian Dozier

Trevor Plouffe

Danny Santana

Oswaldo Arcia

 

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With consistent playing time:  .280 BA, 21 2B, 15 SB and doesn't suck in CF.  Good enough to keep Hicks at AAA where he'll be released at the end of the year for not being able to hit.  Again.  Buxton may get a Sept. call-up.

Schafer will have far more than 15 SB. I'd guess closer to 40.

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As I said in Santana thread...

IMHO...by May 1, I expect Santana to be back in CF and Escobar at SS. If we are lucky Buxton will be up for good after AS Break. I don't think Schaffer is a viable starter long-term. I do expect Escobar and Santana to regress from 2014 numbers.

I don't think the Twins have much to gain by putting Santana in CF unless by some miracle they're like a dozen games above .500 after April and CF is their only week position. It doesn't matter what Santana can do in CF this year so much as what he can do at SS a couple years down the road and beyond. I'm all for Rosario bridging the CF gap and hope he gets a crack at CF before they'd resort to Santana.

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What would be ideal (and somewhat doable) is that we go half the season the way it is, Rosario takes over CF at the break and then moves to a corner next season whenever Buxton joins us.  Around the ASB.

Edited by jimmer
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His other two years of more than semi regular play he put up an OPS of just under 600. Steamer and ZIPs projection fall on both sides of 600. This is probably his peak season and the Twins play in a park that boosts offense so maybe a really optimistic OPS is 630. In a strict platoon maybe he can approach 700.

 

If he is in the low 600s on June 1, I hope the Twins will look elsewhere.

 

ZIPs and Steamer like Gose much better than Schafer. His CF metrics are better. He is at a age and experience level in his career where a jump up is much more likely. It is really hard to buy an argument that Schafer will outperform him with the bat or the glove.

 

If the White Sox offered Gose for Schafer, the Twins should take it and run.

Edited by jorgenswest
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Seth, et al - this is a great series, but I would like to see a 2014 slash line for the player.  It helps me decide whether the projected lines are reasonable progressions or regressions.  Several of these profiles have not contained a 2014 baseline.  Add doubles, triples, SBs, SOs, whatever, but at least avg/obp/slg plus doubles/homers.

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I don't think the Twins have much to gain by putting Santana in CF unless by some miracle they're like a dozen games above .500 after April and CF is their only week position. It doesn't matter what Santana can do in CF this year so much as what he can do at SS a couple years down the road and beyond. I'm all for Rosario bridging the CF gap and hope he gets a crack at CF before they'd resort to Santana.

 

This is so true. Short term gain by playing Santana in CF. When Buxton gets here then Santana is back to square one at SS.

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Schafer is so hard to predict because he is just such an enigma. I read how he was a top prospect. Then I look at numbers and I see things that are OK but certainly not Buxton-like in any way. So, OK, MILB numbers don't always fully indicate potential. But he actually played good ball for the Twins albeit in a SSS. There are guys every year or so, that were quality or top prospects who change leagues, change teams multiple times, but hit that combination of age, maturity and coaching at the right time, and suddenly turn in to at least a solid ballplayer, if not a real good one. Could this be Schafer's turn? I love his speed and aggressiveness on the bases. Decent, quality defense, .250 Avg or higher and something other than punch and Judy, and I could be happy for at least half a season.

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Schafer is so hard to predict because he is just such an enigma. I read how he was a top prospect. Then I look at numbers and I see things that are OK but certainly not Buxton-like in any way. So, OK, MILB numbers don't always fully indicate potential. But he actually played good ball for the Twins albeit in a SSS. There are guys every year or so, that were quality or top prospects who change leagues, change teams multiple times, but hit that combination of age, maturity and coaching at the right time, and suddenly turn in to at least a solid ballplayer, if not a real good one. Could this be Schafer's turn? I love his speed and aggressiveness on the bases. Decent, quality defense, .250 Avg or higher and something other than punch and Judy, and I could be happy for at least half a season.

I agree. He is the kind of player that teams projected for 90 losses should give two months. If he looks OK as hid did last summer, give him another two months.

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Schafer is so hard to predict because he is just such an enigma. I read how he was a top prospect. Then I look at numbers and I see things that are OK but certainly not Buxton-like in any way. So, OK, MILB numbers don't always fully indicate potential. But he actually played good ball for the Twins albeit in a SSS. There are guys every year or so, that were quality or top prospects who change leagues, change teams multiple times, but hit that combination of age, maturity and coaching at the right time, and suddenly turn in to at least a solid ballplayer, if not a real good one. Could this be Schafer's turn? I love his speed and aggressiveness on the bases. Decent, quality defense, .250 Avg or higher and something other than punch and Judy, and I could be happy for at least half a season.

Jordan Schafer is not an enigma. He's a well known commodity and has demonstrated that he's nothing close to a major league starter. The only reason that he's even being included in a conversation as a fourth OF (let alone a GD starter) is that he plays for the Twins. 

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Why is it that Jordan Schafer, of all people, gets the respect of a major league starter when in his 1,100+ MLB at bats he's done nothing to prove that he even comes close to having earned that title, while guys like Mauer (i.e. arguably the best offensive catcher of all time, or at least the past 40 years) and Arcia (a guy with a legitimate 30+ HR power and .750+ OPS potential who is less than 25 years old) are consistently treated as liabilities? I just don't understand the sensibilities that are often exhibited on this site. 

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Why is it that Jordan Schafer, of all people, gets the respect of a major league starter when in his 1,100+ MLB at bats he's done nothing to prove that he even comes close to having earned that title, while guys like Mauer (i.e. arguably the best offensive catcher of all time, or at least the past 40 years) and Arcia (a guy with a legitimate 30+ HR power and .750+ OPS potential who is less than 25 years old) are consistently treated as liabilities? I just don't understand the sensibilities that are often exhibited on this site. 

 

On this site . . . or by the Twins? I am confused.

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225/290/300 - by the time we get to mid-June we will see who wins in the contest between Rosario and Hicks and the winner will be here the rest of the year.  The Buxton comes up in September, Torii is fourth outfielder next year and we move on and quit getting the nice "scrappy" players.

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