If you follow the San Diego Padres and their minor league affiliates you have been seeing the name Ryan Schimpf a lot recently. The third baseman/utility man has been on a tear for the Triple-A El Paso Chihuahuas. He is currently hitting .347 with 13 homers and 45 RBI in 46 games and 147 at bats. Including a stretch where he hit eight home runs in 11 games.
The 28-year-old Schimpf is a left-handed hitter with power. Something that the Padres could use in their lineup. He also provides great versatility as he has played every position this year for the Chihuahuas except for pitcher, catcher and center field. Yes, the stocky power hitter has even played shortstop. He has logged 12 innings at the position and has made one error. He is not a shortstop by any means, but he could fill in at the position in an emergency.
The fact he is so versatile means that its only a matter of time before he is given a shot at the major league level. The issue is the Padres roster is currently full of utility type players like Alexi Amarista, Brett Wallace and Adam Rosales. Schimpf would need an injury or trade to be given a shot at this point. He does deserve a look if he continues to hit at this rate though. They cannot ignore his production forever.
Although he has 126 minor league homers, he was never given an opportunity to play for the Blue Jays major league team. They drafted him in the 5th round out of LSU in the 2009 MLB Draft. He left school after his Junior year at LSU and looked poised to be a potential everyday player at the highest level of professional baseball. It hasn’t happened yet for this young man, but eventually he should make his major league debut. Beyond that, anything can happen if he truly works hard enough.
Schimpf spent seven years in the Blue Jays organization reaching the Triple-A level in 2014, but he struggled at that level and the team granted him minor league free agency after the 2015 season. The Padres grabbed him looking for depth at the upper minor league level. They have been handsomely rewarded for bringing Schimpf to the organization. Take a look at his approach and swing in this video clip. He has a lot of ability.
The San Diego Padres currently have no room for Schimpf, but it isn’t a secret the team is currently in a sort of rebuild. The only way Schimpf would get playing time for the Padres is if Yangervis Solarte and Brett Wallace were traded. Not inconceivable, but still there is a long road before the LSU product will get at bats with the Padres. He will need to keep his chin up.
The 28-year-old deserves a chance. He really does. In his 2,500 plus minor league at bats, he has amassed a .347 career on base percentage. That statistic combined with his extreme versatility on the field equals a decent utility option for a team. Factor in the left-handed bat with power and Schimpf is exactly what a quality team needs on the bench. It may have taken him a change in organizations and a little maturity to blossom, but he has certainly done that. If the Padres need some help off the bench, Ryan Schimpf is only a phone call away. Keep an eye on this young man and hopefully you will get a chance to see him in a Padres uniform.