Aug 10, 2014; Oakland, CA, USA; Minnesota Twins left fielder Jordan Schafer (1) safely steals second base in front of Oakland Athletics shortstop Eric Sogard (28) at Coliseum. Twins won 6-1. Mandatory Credit: Lance Iversen-USA TODAY Sports.

Jordan Schafer: Waiver Wire Speed at its Best

Shortly after the massive trading deadline bonanza, in a much unpublicized trade, the Twins claimed the previously DFA’d Jordan Schafer from the Braves. It didn’t seem like a huge deal at the time, especially compared to the big deadline deals, but it’s a deal that could be a huge benefit to your fantasy baseball team.

Schafer was somehow buried behind B.J. Upton in the Atlanta outfield. He had very little playing time and very little value to the fantasy game. Now that he’s a Twin it looks like all that has changed. The Twins have been playing him just about every day. Schafer brings one big benefit to the fantasy game: Steals.

Schafer has always stolen bases when given the playing time. In 2012, as a member of the Houston Astros, he stole 27 bases in 106 games. In 2013 he got into 94 games with the Braves and stole 22 bases. He has 21 stolen bases this year in only 120 at bats, although admittedly, a chunk of those are as a pinch runner.

The exciting part is what he’s done since becoming a member of the Twins. As I mentioned earlier he seems to be getting regular playing time, and making the most of it. In 8 games as a Twin, he has 6 steals and a .261 average. Six steals in eight games is huge.

He likely can’t keep that pace up, but will be running as much as he can. Per the Minnesota Star Tribune, Twins manager Ron Gardenhire has given Schafer the green light to steal bases at all times. He also gets on base at a good clip. Despite a not so appealing batting average, he draws a lot of walks, and boosts that OBP to a respectable level.

Schafer won’t give you much other stats. He has almost no power and needs a high batting average on balls in play to maintain an average around .260. Given his speed, and the amount of ground balls he hits, that something he may be able to do. So he won’t give you any power, and not many RBI or runs, but the steals could come in droves.

Schafer is likely available in your league, he’s only owned in 1% of yahoo leagues.   We’re all looking for steal this time of year to win weekly categories, or catch-up on points in your roto league, and no one has a better combination of availability, ability and playing to do so, then Jordan Schafer.

Tags: Jordan Schafer MInnesota Twins MLB Steals

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