After Colby Rasmus’ went on the disable list in mid-August last season the Toronto Blue Jays called up Kevin Pillar to replace the injured outfielder. It seems that every year each Major League team calls up a prospect that few fans have heard of. Toronto’s “sleeper prospect” this year could be Ryan Michael Schimpf.
Schimpf was actually drafted by former General Manager JP Ricciardi, who picked the infielder in the 5th round (160th overall) in 2009 out of LSU. Schimpf plays left
field, third base and second base. His ability to play multiple positions adds to his value and may open some opportunities for him. Although, he is considered an adequate defender it’s his bat that will get Ryan to Toronto. Schimpf is looked to as an offensive player and can replace Ryan Goins if he can prove to Toronto he can field his position better. Despite his size (5’9”/181 lbs) he has the ability to muscle the ball out of the park. He has proven he can turn on a 95 MPH fastball with ease, but the reason he hasn’t played higher than AA is that he swings at everything. It’s not that he can’t tell the difference between balls and strikes (he has a high walk rate,) the problem is that change-ups and breaking balls in the zone give him trouble. His slash line from AA last year was .210/.338/.428 with 23 HR and 65 RBI, which dipped a little from the previous year where he hit .269/.368/.500 (22 HR and 76 RBI). Toronto expects him to have the ability to hit at least 15 homers in the show, if he can make it there.
Ryan Goins is set as Toronto’s starting second baseman as things stand right now. If Toronto finds themselves’ in the middle of a playoff hunt or require more power in the line up, expect Schimpf to get a consideration to be called up. His bat is easily better than Goins’. Another reason Schimpf can get a chance in the show is that he is getting too old to be considered a prospect. He will be 26 this April and it’s about time you see what you have in him. This is a big year for Ryan Schimpf, it’s either do or die for him.