Speed guy makes good. Bourn was drafted by the Phillies out of the University of Houston in 2003, in the fourth round, and had a minor league career you’d expect with his talent base — decent average, walks, a lot of stolen bases, some doubles and triples power.
He had a cup of coffee in 2006 then was a fourth outfielder in 2006, hitting .277 and getting on-base at a .348 clip, but showing almost no power — just seven extra-base hits. After the season, he was traded to the Astros with two other players for Brad Lidge and Eric Bruntlett.
The Astros made him their center fielder, displacing Hunter Pence, but Bourn had a disastrous season, hitting .229/.288/.300, unprecedentedly low for him. It seems to have been a fluke. Playing every day over the last three years he’s hit .279/.348/.373, including a .303 average this year that might be just a little fluky. Slugging tends to vary from year to year; in his case, it’s actually due more to speed than anything as it’s affected by how many triples he hits.
He’s a great defensive player, as you have to be to handle center in that miniature golf course they call a ballpark in Houston. He is also probably the most accomplished basestealer in the game since the demise of Carlos Beltran’s legs, leading the NL in the category the last two years and doing it again so far this one. Therefore, Martin Prado is about to bunt a lot.