Scott Anthony Schebler was born on October 6, 1990 in Cedar Rapids, IA. Cedar Rapids is, of course, home to the most famous hobbit in the world (though I enjoyed him more in that soccer movie where he got beat up several times), and also these people. Keep that in mind when watching Scotty mash over the next several years; he's got stiff competition in the race for Most Famous Cedar Rapidian.
Scheb attended Cedar Rapids Prairie High School where he played every sport ever invented, so he was very likely that annoying high school jock who was both polite and charming while being good at everything so you wanted to hate him but he was also dreamy and so nice you couldn't actively hate him, for real.
Scotty S. would later attend Des Moines Area Community College (who really had to stretch for their name, as you can tell) for some schooling and some baseballing. Playing for the DMACC Bears was good enough for the Dodgers, though, as they made him the 27th pick in the 26th round of the 2010 amateur draft.
Surprisingly, there's been 37 players drafted out of DMACC; however, only one of them have made the MLB. His name is Scott Schebler, and he's the current leader in bWAR among DMACC alum.
Schebler's breakout came in the 2013 California League with the Rancho Cucamonga Quakes. In 534 ABs, Scheb thumped 27 home runs and 29 doubles in route to a .296/.360/.581 triple slash, top ten in the league in OPS. He did much of the same in 2014 with the AA Chattanooga Lookouts before being invited to the Arizona Fall League that offseason, where he measured up with the best prospects in the game, OPSing .875 in 91 PAs.
He slowed a bit last year in the PCL, though he did show a more advanced approach, lowering his K% to a career low 19.2%. When he got his cup of coffee with the Dodgers last September, he didn't disappoint. In 40 PAs, Schebler whacked 3 home runs and posted a .500 SLG (.250 ISO).
He flew under the radar in the prospect rich Dodgers system, with much more press going to the likes of Joc Pederson and Corey Seager. But he proved he was no slouch, and while he wasn't The Name in the trade that sent away Todd Frazier, the Reds are obviously counting on Schebler to be an important piece. And they're looking for him to be an important piece sooner rather than later.
Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 26th round of the 2010 amateur draft.
Signed August 16, 2010.
Debut: June 5, 2015 (Age 24.242, 18,505th in MLB history) vs. STL 3 AB, 1 H, 0 HR, 0 RBI, 0 SB
Rookie Status: Still Intact through 2016
Team: Dodgers 2015
2016 Contract Status: Pre-Arb Eligible
Service Time (01/2016): 0.035, Arb Eligible: 2019, Free Agent: 2022
December 16, 2015: Traded as part of a 3-team trade by the Los Angeles Dodgers with Brandon Dixon (minors) and Jose Peraza to the Cincinnati Reds. The Chicago White Sox sent Micah Johnson, Frankie Montas and Trayce Thompson to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cincinnati Reds sent Todd Frazier to the Chicago White Sox.
*It's a deal you may have heard about
Schebler has put up solid offensive numbers since the Dodgers drafted him back in 2010. He has a good approach at the plate, improving his plate discipline and contact rate along the way. He should have at least Major League average power, if not a tick above, and he has decent seed, picking his spots to run wisely. His offensive skillset should play up at Great American Ballpark, which has long been kind to left-handed hitters witih power. Schebler is a fringy outfielder with a below-average arm, but is capable enough to man left field regularly if called upon.
Lots and lots information, here, everyone. This is a very large sample and I'm sure very indicative of future results so please, pay attention.
Well, then. Moving right along.
Our typical ratings aren't available for Schebs, probably because he hasn't played enough.
So, I'll give you this:
This gem was from just earlier this season. It kind of looks like it hurts, and I hesitate to call it a gem, because really I think it just looks cool because he misjudged both the ball and the proximity of the wall.
But, still, it looked cool, and I'm fairly certain it happened in the first several days of games, if not the very first.
Go get 'em, Scott Schebler (and let's all forget what his scouting profile says just right up there^^)
The Reds outfield is crowded.
That's not to be mistaken for saying it's good, to be sure. But, there are plenty of candidates with the club right now that all pretty much look the same. Put 'em in a bag, shake 'em up, and pull out the first four and roll with them, because the difference, right now, probably isn't large enough to matter.
It surely appears that Jay Bruce is going to be your starting right fielder come April 4th, and that's a good thing. Trading Jay Bruce just to trade Jay Bruce is stupid, and the Reds should be glad that they haven't been able to swing it. As it currently stands, we'll consider that spot locked up.
Billy Hamilton will be your starting center fielder on Opening Day, should his shoulder prove ready. That's a good thing, because for all his flaws, Billy is still only 25 years old and does plenty of things very well. If he ever puts things together at the plate (and likely, even if he doesn't), Hamilton will be a big part of the next winning Reds team.
Jake Cave, the Reds Rule 5 pick from the New York Yankees, has to make the team, lest he be returned to the Bronx. Couple that with the fact that he plays a pretty fair center field and that Billy might not be ready on day one, Cave looks like a pretty decent alternative, at least for the 2016 Reds. Oh, and he's currently batting .320/.370/.480 this spring. There's that.
Yorman Rodriguez is in his "use it or lose it" year. He's not exactly playing his way onto the team currently with 3 hits in 20 ABs, but the Reds have been raising Yorman at least as long as Red Reporter has been raising crofler. They've put a lot of time into Yorman's development, and in a year where the win/loss record seems like at least a third or fourth priority, it's unlikely the Reds subject Our Man to waivers, which means at least he'll be on the end of the Reds bench.
That leaves Schebler and Adam Duvall left. They're both relatively young and have options, so if the outfield rotation gets squeezed because of contract commitments, they're the likeliest to be squeezed. But, the Reds say that Mountain Duvall can play IF. If that's the case, all signs point to Schebs getting the squeeze, at least by April 4th.
So, that's the practical reasoning that Schebler might actually miss this roster. But, if we're awarding the 25 spots based on play, leaving Scott Schebler off of it is malpractice.
Schebler's currently batting .304/.385/.652 this spring while playing all of the outfield positions and playing them relatively well. Even if we take a wider view, Schebler either projects better than those not named Bruce or Hamilton (Duvall, Cave), or he's proved more than anyone else (Rodriguez).
Throughout his career he's mashed right handed pitching. He's cut his strikeout rate year over year, though it was over 30% in those 40 big league ABs. That's pretty typical both for a player getting his first sniff of big league hitting and someone that profiles as Schebler does.
He also hits the ball hard, something that he's actively sought to do. And while swinging out of your shoes every plate appearance isn't exactly advisable for long term success, the data shows that a hard hit ball is the best kind of ball. The fact that Schebler pays attention to said data says a lot for the player, too.
As the projections suggest above, Schebler's probably not going to be much of a world beater in 2016. And that's fine. But, of the options that the Reds have for the decision they have to make, he's the best on-the-field option.
The 2016 Reds don't necessarily have to make their decisions based on the results on the field. Hopefully, for Schebler's sake, the Reds will make the right decision.