Björn Schonlau

From BR Bullpen

Björn Schonlau

  • Bats Right, Throws Right
  • Height 6' 1", Weight 254 lb.

Biographical Information[edit]

Björn Schonlau has played in the Bundesliga-1.

Schonlau debuted in 2001 as a 16-year-old with his hometown Paderborn Untouchables; he went 1 for 2. In 2002, he was 0 for 1. He went 2 for 9 with two walks in 2003. That year, he was 4 for 9 with two walks in the European Junior Championship. He was 7 for 29 with 7 walks for the 2004 Untouchables, leading the team with 12 games at catcher. He went 0 for 10 in the postseason but Paderborn won it all; in the finale against the Fürth Pirates, he did have 3 walks and 3 runs. In 2005, Schonlau hit .254/.294/.444 and went the whole season without an error. His three home runs were 5th in the northern Bundesliga-1. In the postseason, he fell to .182 but Paderborn won another pennant.

The 21-year-old batted .289/.379/.378 in 2006 and threw out 15 of 27 attempted base-stealers. He tied Dominik Wulf, Jendrick Speer and Markus Gienger for 5th in the league in runs (23) and led in both runners gunned down and percentage caught stealing (well ahead of Gienger's 34%). The big backstop began playing first base at times in 2007; he was even better on offense at .415/.474/.508. He was 6th in average (third among native Germans), 10th in slugging, tied for 6th in doubles (6), 9th in OBP and 8th in OPS. He threw out 35.7% of attempted base thieves, trailing only future Mets signee Kai Gronauer.

In 2008, he drove in 34 runs in 24 games and produced at a .378/.459/.467 clip while alternating between C and 1B. He was 8th in average and 2nd in RBI (two behind the leader, an American import player). The next year, Schonlau was primarily a first baseman and also did some pitching (4-1, 3.19) while only catching four games. He hit .381/.440/.464, tying for 6th in hits (32), tying for 7th in average and also tying for 7th in wins by a hurler. He drove in 24 runs in 24 games in 2010 and batted .368/.446/.471. He then hit .487 in the playoffs with 16 RBI in 9 games. He allowed one run in eight innings as a pitcher and did not catch at all, now full-time at first base. He was 8th in average, tied for 6th in RBI, was 9th in OBP and led first basemen in fielding (1.00), his second different position with a flawless fielding season.

Schonlau drove in 28 runs in 24 games in 2011 while hitting .391/.453/.506. He was 7th in average (the highest by a native German) and tied for third in RBI (leading native Germans). In the 2011 World Port Tournament, he was 6 for 21 with a walk and four RBI for the German national team. He was then with Germany for the 2011 Baseball World Cup.