Top 50 Jays Prospects, Jays Journal Edition: #33 Ryan Schimpf

A true born leader and winner comes in at #33 in….

#33: Ryan Michael Schimpf

picture courtesy of Kelly Lambert from flickr.com

Second Baseman / 22 years old / 5’9″ 180 lbs

Born: March 11th, 1988 in Covington Louisiana

Bats left   Throws Right

High School Team: St. Paul’s High School

College: Louisiana State University

Drafted: in the 5th round (160th overall) of the 2009 draft, signed for $155,700 by Rob St-Julien

Wears: #12 for the Dunedin Blue Jays

Quick Facts:

  • Attended LSU because he had cheered for them when younger and his dad also attended
  • Made the NCAA regional All-Tournament team in 2008
  • Was on the Academic honour roll in both 2008 and 2009 while at LSU
  • Made the 1st team All-Louisiana in 2009
  • Won the LSWA hitter of the year award in 2009
  • Made the ABCA All-South Region second team in 2009
  • Helped LSU to the College World Series in 2009 and made the All-Tournament team
  • Made the 2nd Team All-SEC in 2009
  • Was a MID mid-season All-Star selection in 2009

Stats:

Year Team
AVG
AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB SO SB CS OBP SLG OPS
2009 BLU .500 4 1 2 0 1 0 0 2 0 1 0 .667 1.000 1.667
2009 AUB .287 129 25 37 7 1 3 14 15 24 4 1 .369 .426 .795
2009 Minors .293 133 26 39 7 2 3 14 17 24 5 1 .381 .444 .824
2010 LAN .240 337 46 81 23 10 6 45 39 96 11 7 .332 .421 .754
2010 DUN .221 68 10 15 3 1 2 7 4 27 3 0 .274 .382 .656
2010 Minors .237 405 56 96 26 11 8 52 43 123 14 7 .323 .415 .738

Lansing Lugnuts rankings for Ryan Schimpf:

  • 11th in OBP with .332
  • 9th in OPS with .754
  • 8th in SBs with 11 and SLG with .421
  • 5th in ABs with 337, runs, hits, HRs, and RBIs
  • 4th in Walks with 39 and SO with 96
  • 3rd in Doubles with 23, and also 3rd in total bases with 143
  • 2nd in Errors with 16 (only Justin Jackson had more with 18)
  • 1st in Triples with 10

Interviews/Videos:

Extra Information and previous experience:

  • Was with fellow LSU Tiger and Jays prospect Sean Ochinko when they found out that they were drafted by the Jays.

To read more about Ryan’s exploits before he joined the Jays, I recommend following this link. I simply couldn’t list all of his accomplishments since there are so many that are worth mentioning. Obviously, winning the College World Series and making the All-Tournament team stand out above the rest.

Ryan Schimpf has drawn comparisons to Dustin Pedroia due to the fact that they are the same size, both play the game hard every single day, and each hits the ball with strength that should only come out of 6′ and above players. The problems is that there is no comparison in terms of progression at the same age. Pedroia had already made it to The Show by the time he was Schimpf’s age, while Schimpf is still expected to begin the season in HiA Dunedin. Therefore, the similarities stop at the size and the power potential that both have in their bats regardless of their diminutive sizes.

If you were to tell me that you could guarantee that Ryan Schimpf could play 2B in The Show without committing too many errors or becoming a defensive liability, I would put him within the top 20 Jays prospects tomorrow. That’s the kind of talent that Ryan holds. He’s been a winner everywhere he’s played baseball, has drawn rave reviews about his makeup since arriving in the pros, and there’s little doubt that he should be able to hit when he makes it to MLB. The problem is that he made 16 errors in 2010.

The main reason Ryan struggled at 2B on some of the plays could be explained by the fact that he mostly played LF for the LSU Tigers before being drafted by the Jays in 2009. Turning double plays and reacting to ground balls takes some getting used to, particularly when jumping up a level or two in talent and speed of the hits and runners. So, I’ll cut some slack to Ryan here and will say that I hope he does better defensively in 2011, because his bat does not project to play at an above-average level anywhere other than 2B.

Nathan Rode of Baseball America came to similar conclusions in his 2010 assessment (2010 Prospect Handbook) of the Jays prospects, where he noted that:

“He projects to hit lots of doubles, and the Jays think he could produce 15 or more homers per season.”

That seems more than adequate for a 2B, but Nathan adds that:

“Schimpf is reliable if not spectacular at second base. He has a fringy arm and needs to get a better feel for the position, starting with turning double plays.”

His assessment turned out to be bang on, as Ryan did struggle some at 2B and did show a fringy arm at 2B. However, it’s still expected that he will get better as he gets more comfortable at the position. What’s a little more disappointing, however, is how little Ryan dominated while playing one level lower than expected as some believed he would begin the 2010 season in HiA Dunedin. Instead, he began the year in LoA Lansing and struggled some when he was finally promoted to HiA.

I’m a self-confessed big fan of Ryan’s true potential offensively which I view as being very close to the tons of doubles with 15 or more HRs per season once he figures things out in The Show. He has extra base hits in 11% of his ABs in 2010 and I don’t expect that to go down at any time. He finished tied for 7th in the MID league with 10 triples in LoA, despite having more than 100 fewer ABs than most ahead of or behind him and he held his own in doubles despite the same shortfall in ABs. Just to put it into numbers we can all understand, Dodgers prospect Brian Cavazos-Galvez hit a double 8.1% of the time and led the MID league with 43 doubles in 490 ABs, while Ryan Schimpf hit one 6.8% of the time while hitting 23 doubles in 337 ABs. That’s not a big difference overall, particularly when you consider that Ryan plays 2B, hit 7 triples more than Brian did, and is also one year younger.

Ryan will have to get on base more regularly, will have to strike out fewer times (he struck out almost one third of the time in Lansing with 96 whiffs), and will need to hit for better average in order to be a major offensive factor as he moves up the levels. Having power numbers is great, but steady productions is also important. He’ll be seeing better pitchers and will have to adjust to more off speed stuff as well. Still, we know that Ryan was really focused on getting his defensive game up to par in 2010, so I expect that he will still prove that his bat can play at above average levels in both average and OBP without losing any power. In short, I have a lot more faith in his bat than his defensive abilities.

His professionalism and winning attitude and track record make him a high ceiling player who simply needs to prove his defensive abilties at 2B and also that he can perform at the higher levels. With a great performance and a promotion in 2011, he is likely to impress.

There’s little doubt in my mind that he has the tools to make it to The Show and that he’ll do his very best to make it.

Expected 2011 Team: Dunedin Blue Jays with a mid season move to AA New Hampshire

Ultimate ceiling if he puts it all together: Starting 2B

– MG

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Tags: Justin Jackson Ryan Schimpf Sean Ochinko

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