As the 2011 Major League Baseball trade deadline approached, the Atlanta Braves front office watched as the rival Philadelphia Phillies dealt for outfielder Hunter Pence and chief wild card competitor, the San Francisco Giants, acquired veteran Carlos Beltran.
General Manger Fran Wren patiently waited, knowing the best fit for his Braves wasn’t a corner outfielder.
Wren tells Sirius/XM sports radio he wanted a premium center fielder that was a true leadoff hitter at the plate.
Enter Michael Bourn.
Given a full season, Bourn will attempt to fuel what was at times an anemic offense during 2011. Atlanta finished in the bottom half of the National League in nearly every major category, including runs (10th), RBI (10th), AVG (13th), SB (14th) and Team WAR (13th).
Bourn’s top priority as a leadoff hitter is to get on base so he can provide run scoring opportunities for middle of the order hitters like Chipper Jones, Brian McCann, Dan Uggla and hopefully, Jason Heyward.