June 25, 2013; Kansas City, MO, USA; Atlanta Braves left fielder Jordan Schafer (17) doubles in a run against the Kansas City Royals during the fifth inning at Kauffman Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Peter G. Aiken-USA TODAY Sports

ATL AM: Atlanta Sports News 6/26

Well good morning, Atlanta sports fans. We haven’t had one of these in a while, but exciting things are on the horizon both for the site, and for some Atlanta teams. The Hawks are rapidly approaching the 2013 NBA Draft and we may or may not be making a few additions here at ATL All Day…

But more on that later.

For now, let’s just grab the juiciest stuff on the internet:

TomahawkTake– This has been brewing on many fans minds for a while now, and Steven Whitaker talks about it wonderfully. It’s about Jordan Schafer, if you must know:

In 18 games starting in the leadoff spot, Schafer has been quite impressive. In the leadoff spot, he is slashing .313/.425/.522. An on-base percentage of .425 is good for any player, much less a leadoff guy. Where I am impressed is on two fronts: 1. Out of his 21 hits in the leadoff spot, only 13 have been singles. And when he has gotten only singles, he had 4 stolen bases. Not much Jordan Schafer on first base! 2. His hitting with runners in scoring position has been above the standards other Braves are giving.

Schafer has started a total of 24 games this season. The Braves are scoring a total of 4.79 runs per game in those games. In those 24 games, compare that to the 3.8 runs that the Braves are scoring without him starting, and it seems like they should like him being in the lineup. Also, Jordan has failed to reach base in just 4 games, getting at least one base hit in 17 of them. Needless to say, he has been quite successful in the starting lineup this season.

TomahawkTake– Benjamin Chase writes about whether or not the Braves actually need an ace or not. I’m thinking no… aces are entirely overrated. Am I right, Timmy?

One of the common marks against the Braves this season from national writers is the team’s rotation construction without an “ace” leading the way. The typical comments are along the lines of “the Braves have a deep rotation, but no real #1 or ace pitcher” or “during the season, the Braves should be fine, but who takes the ball that first game in October?”

It is that second assertion that I really wanted to look into. While defining an ace is a mess to no end, I wanted to see if there was any correlation between having the best pitcher in the league and winning the World Series. I went back to the start of the wild card format, and I found that, in fact, there were seasons where the World Series participant from one league also had the Cy Young award winner from that same season. That number, however, is incredibly small. Four Cy Young’s were won by a member of a team in the World Series, but none since 2001 (2001 Randy Johnson of the Diamondbacks, 2001 Roger Clemens of the Yankees, 1996 John Smoltz of the Braves, and 1995 Greg Maddux of the Braves). Only two of those (Johnson and Maddux) won in the same season that their team won the World Series.

Peachtree Hoops– Jason Walker over at the SB Nation Hawks site ponders whether or not Danny Ferry and company will trade up in the draft to get Trey Burke or another lottery-caliber player… whatever that means this year.

These are the three names that we consider to be the most likely targets based on fit and needs for the Hawks. But Oladipo is unlikely to be there at 5, and Len is being talked about as potentially the #1 pick now to Cleveland, it leaves the likelyhood of the Hawks targeting someone around the 5 slot to be Burke.

Burke’s run as the Michigan Wolverine’s floor general was eye-catching. His leadership, scoring and playmaking reminded many of Chris Paul’s similar leadership of his Wake Forest teams.

Burke is visually similar to Paul, while not being completely statistically equal, many of the skill sets are the same. Burke’s defense has been in question, but his playmaking has not. To trade up for Burke would be announcing that he is the point guard of the next Hawks playoff team, whenever that may be.

Tags: Atlanta Braves Atlanta Hawks

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