Originally written on Chop-N-Change  |  Last updated 1/31/12
I am way behind on these. I know, I suck. Going to get a few of these done today and tomorrow to get back on track.

The Braves acquired Bourn on July 31st last year from the Houston Astros for a quartet of minor leaguers, none of whom the team will really miss: Jordan Schafer (a center fielder who failed in multiple stints in the majors), Juan Abreu (live-armed reliever who never got a chance in the majors), Brett Oberholtzer and Paul Clemens (both of whom could be back-end starters in the majors, but lack the upside of many of the pitching prospects in the system). The Braves wanted him to provide a spark, and to a certain extent, he did.

Bourn wasn't as much of an impact player as the Braves expected, with just a .673 OPS (and an ugly .321 OBP) during his 53 game stint in Atlanta. His defense wasn't as good as expected, logging just +2 DRS in center (compared to +12 in 2009 and +16 in 2010). However, the one facet of his game that did come as advertised was his speed. Bourn stole 22 bases in his 53, putting him on pace to perhaps steal 70 over a full year. 

The Braves really aren't known as a running team, but you have to imagine that with Bourn in the fold for a full season, the shackles will come off a bit, and he'll get carte blanche on the basepaths. If Bourn is able to up his OBP to the .350 range that it was as he became a commodity with the Astros over the past couple of seasons, and his defense rebounds to the stellar level it was at, Bourn will absolutely be a catalyst for the Braves in center.

With Bourn entering free agency after the 2012 season, the Braves are in an interesting position with him. The system lacks a high upside center field prospect that could take over in 2013 if Bourn leaves town, with the possible exception of Mycal Jones, who had a vastly disappointing 2011 season. If Jones is able to turn his game around in 2012 and looks like he could be a full-time guy in the majors, I could definitely see the Braves letting Bourn walk. Bourn will be 30 at the end of the season, and once you get up to that age, speed starts to slip....and without his speed, what kind of player is Bourn? That's why I'd be hesitant to give him a long-term extension, but we'll play it by ear depending on what exactly happens in 2012.

Check out Bourn's player projection on THT here.

Photo credit to Joe Lucia 
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Butler can’t sign one-year contract unless it’s with Bulls

DeAndre Jordan wants 4-year deal, bigger offensive role

USA-Germany: Rivals meet in World Cup semis

Kings reportedly looking into viability of firing Karl

Jim Brown: I ‘encourage and support’ Johnny Manziel


Vincent criticizes NFLPA over spending millions on lawsuits

MLB urges Supreme Court to deny San Jose's A's appeal

Jeanie Buss: Phil Jackson loves the Twitter criticism

Vikings RB McKinnon: If I had a fantasy team, I'd take myself

Report: Kings have had discussions with John Calipari

De’Andre Johnson charged with misdemeanor battery

WATCH: Jim Harbaugh throws out first pitch at Tigers game

MLB’s All-Star roster will now announced be over two days

Blackhawks trade Brandon Saad to the Blue Jackets

Blatter won’t attend World Cup final due to ‘personal reasons’

Sharks have found their starting goalie by acquiring Jones

Fan who caught A-Rod’s 3,000th says he’s received threats

Diamondbacks are contenders, but team's direction is unclear

Selecting the 2015 American League All-Stars

Jim Harbaugh is recruiting a prospect he once babysat

Conan makes Marshawn's wildest dreams come true

Brett Favre dons Packers jersey, says, 'I think I could still play'

Bo Knows, Bo Goes: Wisconsin feels pride and pain

MLB News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

By clicking "Sign Me Up", you have read and agreed to the Fox Sports Digital Privacy Policy and Terms of Use. You can opt out at any time. For more information, please see our Privacy Policy.
Get it now!
Ios_download En_app_rgb_wo_45

Selecting the 2015 AL All-Stars

NBA Draft grades: Eastern Conference

Under the radar NBA free agents

Michael Sam, boyfriend broke up?

Mickelson linked to money laundering?

Reminiscing on 'Love & Basketball' 15 years later

Selecting the 2015 NL All-Stars

The Sixers' latest horde

Projected landing spots for NBA's top free agents

MLB changes format for Home Run Derby

Revis to work out with Patriots DBs

Peterson: I'm still NFL's best RB

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.