He had one of the highest averages (.272) and OPS's (.842) on the team. Those that ranked higher were not considered for the award because they did not play for Johnson City for a majority of season. Schaffer proved his consistency at the plate.
In 62 games, the right-handed hitter had 232 at-bats. Of those, he contributed 32 runs from 63 hits (both third on the Cards). Schaffer hammered 20 doubles (most on the team), three triples (tied for second) and 10 home runs (most). He was the team's top run producer, supplying 51 RBI. When the Schaffer wasn't hard at work at the plate, he was guarding first base, ready to make plays and help out his team.
Schaffer performed well in the Cardinals' three play-off games against the Burlington Royals, too. By the end of the third game, his average was at .300 on three hits.
|JC Cards hitters||POS||AB||R||H||2B||3B||HR||RBI||BB||SO||SB||AVG||OPS|
|C.J. McElroy Jr.||OF||247||40||67||11||2||0||22||15||42||24||0.271||0.646|
|Lance Jeffries Jr.||OF||132||23||29||2||4||0||39||24||62||11||0.220||0.665|
Shortstop Leandro Mateo joined the team later in the season, but left a very good impression. He rose to a .406 average in 17 games after batting just .220 in the Gulf Coast League in 2011. He also had the highest OPS on the Cards (.924). The 22-year-old also played briefly for the Batavia Muckdogs in 2012.
Catcher Adam Ehrlich was assigned to Johnson City from the Gulf Coast League mid-season, when Steve Bean was sent down. Ehrlich showed great improvement over the year. His average in 2011 was a low .237 with a .672 OPS. With Johnson City in 2012, the 19-year-old averaged .373 with a .877 OPS.
Ildemaro Vargas has played in the minor leagues since he first joined the Venezuelan Summer League Cardinals in 2008. The second baseman has consistently improved his game. Between his time at Johnson City, Palm Beach and Batavia in 2012, the 21-year-old had an overall .314 average and .821 OPS. With a team-leading 42 runs scored, Vargas was in serious running for this award, but Schaffer's run production and slightly-higher OPS gave him the nod.
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Link to master article with all 2012 award winners, team recaps and article schedules for the remainder of this series.
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