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The Red Report 2019 - Scott Schebler

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Scott Schebler finds himself in an altogether different kind of crowded outfield in 2019

Cincinnati Reds Photo Day Photo by Rob Tringali/Getty Images

Fast Facts

  • Outfielder
  • 28 years old
  • Native of Cedar Rapids, Iowa; is the only player to make the Major Leagues from Cedar Rapids Prairie High School.
  • If you imagined “major league baseball player from Iowa” in your head and, without knowing who Scott Schebler is, the image you’d conjure in your mind would indeed be Scott Schebler.
  • Has the very unique nickname of “Sheb”.

Organizational History

  • Drafted by the Los Angeles Dodgers in the 26th round of the 2010 amateur draft.
  • Made MLB debut on June 5, 2015.
  • Traded by the Dodgers, with Jose Peraza and Brandon Dixon, to the Reds in a deal that also involved Todd Frazier and the Chicago White Sox.

Career Stats

Standard Batting
Year Age Tm Lg G PA AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI SB CS BB SO BA OBP SLG OPS OPS+ TB GDP HBP SH SF IBB Pos Awards
2015 24 LAD NL 19 40 36 6 9 0 0 3 4 2 1 3 13 .250 .325 .500 .825 127 18 0 1 0 0 1 /79
2016 25 CIN NL 82 282 257 36 68 12 2 9 40 2 4 19 59 .265 .330 .432 .762 101 111 5 6 0 0 2 987
2017 26 CIN NL 141 531 473 63 110 25 2 30 67 5 3 39 125 .233 .307 .484 .791 102 229 7 14 0 5 5 *98
2018 27 CIN NL 107 430 380 55 97 19 0 17 49 4 2 39 99 .255 .337 .439 .777 106 167 5 9 0 2 1 98/7D
4 Yrs 349 1283 1146 160 284 56 4 59 160 13 10 100 296 .248 .323 .458 .781 104 525 17 30 0 7 9
162 Game Avg. 162 596 532 74 132 26 2 27 74 6 5 46 137 .248 .323 .458 .781 104 244 8 14 0 3 4
CIN (3 yrs) 330 1243 1110 154 275 56 4 56 156 11 9 97 283 .248 .323 .457 .779 103 507 17 29 0 7 8
LAD (1 yr) 19 40 36 6 9 0 0 3 4 2 1 3 13 .250 .325 .500 .825 127 18 0 1 0 0 1
Provided by Baseball-Reference.com: View Original Table
Generated 3/4/2019.

Scouting Report


Source: FanGraphs
Brooks Baseball
Baseball Savant via MLB Statcast

Ken Gif-y Jr.

tHaTs nOt ScOtT sChEbLeR aS a ReD

Projections

Fangraphs

Outlook

In a lot of ways, everything Wick wrote about Scott Schebler in this space last year still stands: if we ever saw a fully healthy Scott Schebler, just how much could he truly bash? We couldn’t answer that question a year ago, and we still can’t now.

After trying to gut through the pain for much of the summer in 2017 before hitting the disabled list, Schebler did nothing of the sort in 2018... he just got hurt more and worse. After getting plunked by a Sean Doolittle offering at the beginning of April, Schebler missed 10 games with an elbow injury. That didn’t seem to have him any worse for wear; he came back on April 20 and bashed his way to a .900 OPS through the month of April. In fact, from April 21 through July 13, Schebler slashed .279/.353/.466 playing mostly everyday in right field and while he was behind his 30 dinger pace from 2017, the rest of his game was right on track.

On July 14th, however, just the second to last game before the All Star break, Schebler went running head and shoulder first into the right field wall at Busch Stadium. He would hit the disabled list again, this time with a sprained AC joint in his right shoulder. He wouldn’t play again until August 25, and was obviously not right for the remainder of the season. He would hit only .202/.305/.368 the rest of the way (131 PA, 5 HR).

He would end up with 100 less plate appearances in 2018 than 2017, but in a lot of way, he did more with his opportunities. His OPS+ was higher in 2018 than in 2017, and his bWAR was nearly identical (1.2 to 1.1). It was, in a lot of cases, a better Scott Schebler, but he also was still hurt. And again.

That’s not to say he’s necessarily “injury prone,” should you believe in such a thing. The freak HBP thing is just that, a freak thing. He is certainly a bet reckless in the field. His 2017 shoulder injury came while diving for a fly ball that ended with him rolling up his shoulder; the 2018 injury was a hard crash into the wall after a play well made (though you could certainly argue it shouldn’t have been as hard). These aren’t traits that you criticize a player for. It just so happens that when you’re six foot, 230 pounds, and you crash into or fall onto things at high rates of speed... your body tends to hurt.

The difference for Schebler this year, though, is that the Reds outfield is more crowded and in a better way to begin 2019. The Reds outfield was “crowded” in 2018, but a very sound argument could’ve been made that Schebler’s bat was the best in the crowd to start that season, and that’s even before the hindsight of Adam Duvall’s season. Jesse Winker was starting his first full Big League season and, well, Billy Hamilton is and was Billy Hamilton.

This season, Schebler could very well be the odd man out of big playing time in 2019. Jesse Winker returns for his second season with a surgically repaired shoulder that’s apparently been bothering him for a while, and all he did in 2018 was OBP .400-plus. Out are Billy Hamilton and Adam Duvall and, in their stead, are fellow former Dodgers Yasiel Puig and Matt Kemp. The latter probably shouldn’t sniff an outfield at this point but can still swing a bat, the former is basically the guy we want Scott Schebler to turn into.

And I didn’t even mention Nick Senzel.

Finding time for all of these players is a good problem for the Reds to have, but it’s not such a great thing for Scott Schebler. He’s shown that when given the opportunity and healthy, he can be a good player. But, with another unhealthy season placed in 2018, he wasn’t able to cement a spot in right field. They’ll ask him to play some center this season with or without Nick Senzel on the team, which will get his bat into the lineup. But with more competition for plate appearances, Schebler will need to make the most of them.