Making the Grade: Ranking Center Fielders in the AL Central

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No. 5: Jordan Schafer, Minnesota Twins

Mar 9, 2015; Bradenton, FL, USA; Minnesota Twins left fielder Jordan Schafer (1) bunts the ball during the fifth inning of a spring training baseball game against the Pittsburgh Pirates at McKechnie Field. Mandatory Credit: Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

There is a reason Jordan Schafer has not solidified himself as an everyday player in the league despite his more than five seasons of service time for three different teams.

In 446 career games played, Schafer is a .227/.308/.307 hitter whose speed and ability to steal bases is trumped by his inability to get on base at any consistent clip. Once the replacement piece in a trade that helped the Atlanta Braves acquire Michael Bourn, Schafer owns a career WAR of -1.9.

Through 10 games in 2015, Schafer has hit just .143/.172/.179 with one extra-base hit and 10 strike outs. He has been caught stealing in both attempts and, along with the rest of the Twins, he has been frustrating for first-year coach Paul Molitor to watch on the base paths.

Fortunately for Minnesota, help is likely on the way. According to Jim Souhan of the Star Tribune, the organization’s top prospect Byron Buxton deserves time with the big league club because, as Souhan wrote:

"Their leadoff hitter isn’t getting on base, their No. 3 hitter isn’t producing power, their ace has yet to win and they struck out 14 times in a lost Saturday that leaves them at 4-7."

The second pick in the 2012 draft, Buxton is getting his first extended look in Double-A. He dominated Single-A in 2013 before injuries ruined his 2014 campaign. Rushing Buxton to the majors is always a risk, but it might be a necessary evil if Schafer — and the rest of the Twins — continue to be bad.

Next: No. 4