Twins have claimed CF Jordan Schafer off waivers from Atlanta— LaVelle E. Neal III (@LaVelleNeal) August 3, 2014
We knew that the Twins were looking for a new fourth outfielder in the wake of Sam Fuld's trade to Oakland, and we'd been told to keep an eye on Schafer as well. It turns out that the advice was well founded.
Schafer, 27, was a third-round selection for the Braves in 2005. Fantastic minor league seasons in 2007 and 2008 meant that he was among baseball's best prospects in pre-'08 and pre-'09 prospect lists, settling in at number 25 and 42 for Baseball American in those years and number 17 and number 50 for MLB.com. As you can gather by the fact that he's on waivers, he never matched that potential. In fact, Schafer hasn't ever truly hit above Double-A as he's posted a .225/.278/.294 triple slash in Triple-A in 503 plate appearances.
It hasn't been any better for the Astros and now Braves (again), as in 1251 Major League plate appearances he's amassed a .611 OPS. His value is in being able to play all three outfield positions, grading out the best in right but playing an adequate center field for a majority of his Major League defensive innings.
Minnesota does have an open space on the 40-man roster, but the 25-man move will be made prior to Tuesday's game. With Kennys Vargas' roster spot allegedly secure, the odds-on favorite to be optioned back to Rochester would be Chris Colabello. The addition of Vargas, the existence of Chris Parmelee, and the looming return of Joe Mauer makes Colabello the likely choice.
Welcome to Minnesota, Jordan Schafer. This is center field. Six men have come before you. May the odds be ever in your favor.