Sunday, July 31, 2011

Braves Acquire Lead-Off Hitter Michael Bourn

My Sunday morning sleep-in was interrupted by my girlfriend barging in saying "the Braves got Michael Bourn!" My immediate response was "who did we give up?!" Her: "Schafer, Abreu and two other guys." Me: "Ummm, Delgado or Minor?" Her: "I don't think so?"

So, I get up and see the Braves got Michael Bourn from the Astros for Jordan Schafer, Gwinnett reliever Juan Abreu and two Double A starters in LHP Brett Oberholtzer and RHP Paul Clemens. For what it's worth (and that's probably not a lot), I had Oberholtzer, Clemens and Abreu ranked 8, 9 and 22 in the Atlanta minor league system, respectively. Yes - Atlanta was able to pick-up a Gold Glove/All-Star center fielder without giving up one of their 'Big 4' (or even Hoover or Gilmartin). Now that's not to say Oberholtzer and/or Clemens aren't solid prospects. Both could end up being middle of the rotation type starters and would be one of the top few pitching prospects for any organization outside of Atlanta.

I won't bother going into all the minutia of how great Michael Bourn is for the Braves. You can go here, here and here for that. But I'll leave you with these few nuggets: with Schafer now gone, Bourn has more steals than all Braves combined (39 vs. 27); Bourn's 2011 OBA is nearly 60 points higher than Atlanta lead-off hitters this season (.363 vs. .306); Bourn has 17 more hits than any Brave (130 vs. Freeman's 113); his dWAR is already 1.1, higher than any Brave (Gonzalez 1.0). Be happy Braves fans, be happy.

Welcome to Atlanta, Mr. Bourn!

EDIT: Bourn also comes with a bit of an Upstate, NY connection. He began his professional career in the Philadelphia system, playing Short Season Class A ball with the Batavia Muckdogs in 2003. He hit .280/.404/.296 with 23 steals in 35 games.

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