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The Red Report - Scott Schebler

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A ready-made OF.

Sam Greene-USA TODAY Sports



Fast Facts

His first name is Scott.

His last name is not Shammgod.  His last name is Schebler.

He was born on October 6th, 1990, which means the first real memories he had as a kid were of Jose Rijo, Eric Davis, and Billy Hatcher smacking around the Oakland A's to win the 1990 World Series. Not a bad way to grow up, all told.

He hails from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, which is only strange in that I was unaware that trees could possess fast-moving water. He was drafted in the 26th round of the 2010 amateur draft, which is a statement that is also typed directly below this in the 'Organizational Information' section. According to this link you should click, he's already the single best 26th round draft pick that the Dodgers have ever signed, which is a nit-picky way to point out that neither Jordy Mercer nor Paul Quantrill actually signed with LA after being drafted that late.

He has never met a mouthguard he would not chomp.

Organizational Information

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: Exceeded rookie limits in 2016 
Team: Dodgers 2015
2017 Contract Status: Pre-Arb Eligible 
Service Time (01/2016): 0.132, Arb Eligible: 2020, Free Agent: 2023

Transactions

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 JohnsonFrankie Montas and Trayce Thompson to the Los Angeles Dodgers. The Cincinnati Reds sent Toood Frooozier to the Chicago White Sox.

Career Stats

Scouting Report

If you want visual evidence of why infields have begun employing shifts, this is pretty much it.

If you want visual evidence of why Desmond Jennings and (potentially) Ryan Raburn were brought in as OFs who can hit against LHP, this is pretty much it.

But if you're just here to see how pitchers attack Schebler, this is not pretty much it, this is it.

2016 Projections

PA R HR RBI SB AVG/OBP/SLG DEF WAR
Steamer 441 49 17 57 5 .252/.312/.440 -5.6 0.6
ZiPS 564 72 21 79 8 .250/.314/.449 -6.1 1.1

On a per-PA basis, both of these projections appear to be pretty similar, and neither is terribly out of line with what Schebler produced in his overall 2016 numbers. Funny how that works for guys with only one real season of big league ball under their belt.

Defense

Defensive metrics are notoriously fickle, especially in small samples. Want to know the other large factors that make defensive metrics hard to trust? 1) when they're judging players who have just barely cracked the big leagues, and 2) when they try to grade players who play multiple positions.

Considering Schebler has only 82 games under his belt with the Reds (and just 101 career games in the bigs), he clearly still falls in the 'small sample' category. He's started 80 games in the big leagues, with a distribution of 41 in RF, 12 in LF, and 17 in CF, which means he pretty well falls under the umbrella of all three mitigating factors discussed above.

In other words, the -0.4 dWAR he was valued at last year doesn't really tell a whole lot, nor does the -4.5 defensive runs saved mark he earned from FanGraphs. Schebler has never been scouted as a plus defender, but there's not much I've seen from him that suggests that he can't be at least average while stuck in a corner. He's probably better suited to be a LF given his not-super-strong arm, but he should be decent enough out there for now - especially while at home in GABP's small dimensions.

Outlook

Schebler hit .188/.246/.344 in his first 27 games with the Reds last year, the .590 OPS coming in a decidedly un-nice 69 PA. If that's the Scott Schebler the Reds get to start the 2017 season, you'll have Jesse Winker's every move memorized until the latter gets the call-up and a starting corner OF job.

When Schebler was recalled from AAA Louisville, however, he hit a sturdy .290/.357/.461 over his final 213 PA of the season. If that's the Scott Schebler the Reds get to start the 2017 season, you'll either not care what Jesse Winker is up to, or you'll be watching Adam Duvall's start to the season like a hawk to see if Winker gets the call-up to take his job.

The fact is, Schebler's got a great opportunity to show - with little initial competition - that he's plenty capable of beating his projections and earning an regular job in the Cincinnati outfield. He's got the kind of pop that could easily produce 20+ dingers in 500 PA, and he even carries an ability to take a walk that many of his Reds' peers cannot boast.

The one caveat with Schebler's game is one I hinted at in his Scouting - his ability to hit left-handed pitching. Rather, the lack of said ability, and how often he'll truly be asked to do such a thing.

If Schebler gets everyday time against RHP, odds are the Reds will be generally satisfied with his production. He's had rather obvious platoon splits throughout his career, and last year was no different as he hit .278/.342/.449 against righties in the bigs as opposed to just .195/.267/.341 against lefties. That's in a small sample, but it's both recent and in-line with the numbers he's produced at most every stint along the way in his professional career. With Jennings in the fold to tangle with lefty starters, there's little reason to task Schebler with such a task, and doing so should form a solid platoon rotation and give both players a chance to shine at what they're good at doing.

He's earned the right to be a regular to start the season, both through his finish to 2016 and through the other roster attrition Cincinnati has endured as part of this rebuild. That's not to say the leash will be terribly long, however, as Winker will be knocking on the big league door in AAA and Jennings - if healthy - should still have plenty of baseball life left in legs that have already produced quite well at the big league level.

If you're looking for Schebler to be the best bat on the team, your team isn't going to win many games. However, if you're looking for him to hit 6th, succeed against hard-throwing righties, and be passable enough to be a solid roster player, you're likely in luck. And if that player is age-prime, comes with six full years of team control, and is making league-minimum, that's a solid asset to boast for any organization. Not bad for the secondary piece in the Todd Frazier deal, all told - assuming he's not really the player we saw to start 2016.