Two days ago Ryan Schimpf became the first Padre in the last 16 years to homer in both games of a double-header. That's awfully impressive in itself, but what might be even more so, is the fact that he has a .603 slugging percentage through his first 28 Major League games.
Ryan Schimpf, the power-hitting second baseman from down south, Covington, LA, has always flashed good power throughout the minors. He has an accumulative minor-league slash line of .250/.353/.500 with a wOBA of .380 (for those who aren't aware of wOBA; .380 would be considered very good while .400 would be considered elite) since the beginning of his 2012 season until the day he debuted in the majors on June 14th of this year. Over that four year span Ryan played for the Toronto Blue Jays whom he was drafted by all the way back in 2009. Now, at the ripe age of 28, he finds himself producing for the Friars.
Since the beginning of the 2016 season, between El Paso and San Diego, Schimpf is hitting .272 with 22 HR, 23 2B, and a 59:34 K:BB ratio. What stands out to me is the walk rate; it's little above 12% this year between El Paso and SD. He clearly has excellent command of the strike-zone hence the fact he hasn't had a walk rate south of 10% in the past five years of his professional career. When you can command the zone like that and continually make hard contact you are going to produce at whatever level you play.
Warning: small sample size -- For what it's worth, check this out; all MLB hitters over the past calendar year with 80 PA+
He is clearly hanging with some big names here in the Hard% (hard-hit percentage) category. The only downside of his specific line is that he has the lowest line drive rate of all those guys. That is most likely why he is sporting a .231 AVG through his first month of play. Reason to stay passively optimistic: his BABIP is drowning to an earthly depth of .239 (the average MLB player sports a BABIP of .295-.300) which we would believe can only go up from here, in turn, raising his AVG. With time we can see an AVG adjustment move toward the .245-.255 range. I believe that's his true talent. He's got the knack to do so and right now he's showing off with the long ball. Showing off so much so that I am intrigued enough to write 700+ words about him. He's hit 7 dingers this year for our San Diego Padres and look where they've landed:
28 games; 7 HR: 4 Pulled, 1 Center, 2 Oppo
It's even more apparent that he's above average in the box with this AAA spray chart:
51 games; 15 HR in AAA: 7 Pulled, 5 Center, 3 Oppo
Even the names he has homered off this year are intriguing. Some notable AAA & MLB names: Carlos Martinez, Jeff Samardzija, Brad Ziegler, Nathan Eovaldi, and the homegrown top-prospect Joe Musgrove.
Clearly... we have something here with Ryan Schimpf.
Frankly, when he was called up, I thought nothing of it. I thought he was a get-me-over type of replacement player. I knew Spangy was going to be out for a while and Amarista just isn't the productive little ninja we all wanted to see. I had no expectations for the 28-year-old guy putting up hot numbers in a hot PCL park. But, to much joy, he has turned my head multiple times almost in attempt to snap my neck. I fully believe that Schimpf can be productive over a full season and that he can be a successful 30 year old LH-2B for us in 2018/2019 when the Friar's forecast for an uptick in competitiveness. I know most of you Friar Faithfuls out there lean toward Spangenberg as the future of the right side of the infield, but hopefully some guy named Ryan Schimpf can lean you back the other way and make you think about how the Padres can be offensively productive again. Do NOT get me wrong. I too love me some Spangy, but he doesn't nearly have the same pop nor the plate discipline to put crooked numbers up consistently. I love Cory's prospective talent and maybe they can both play the infield simultaneously (pending Solarte's future), but at this moment and the near future I feel tons more confident letting Schimpf have the starting gig at 2B to open 2017. Just a warm thought. What do ya'll think? Where do you want to see Schimpf in 2017 and beyond?