Ryan Schimpf- Buffalo Bisons Infielder
By Ryan Mueller
Over the next couple months I am going to take a look at some the prospects that won’t show up on any 2015 Top Prospect lists. Some of these guys may have been on previous lists, but have either been passed over or just haven’t developed according to plan.
The Buffalo Bison’s versatile 5’9″ Ryan Schimpf infielder was orginally drafted in the 5th round of the 2009 Amateur Draft by the GM whose name we don’t speak of when discussing the Blue Jays minor league system. He played 51 games at second, 16 at third, 28 in the outfield, and 20 as a DH.
Ryan has slowly moved through the system since appearing in 36 games in 2009. In 6 minor league seasons he has amassed 90 homeruns, 301 RBI, 284 BB, and 573 strikeouts.
Schimpf started 2014 with New Hampshire Fisher Cats, where he had played in 2012 and 2013. He looked poised for the breakout season many close observers had been hoping for the past couple seasons. Ryan had always put up really impressive wOBA throughout his career. In 50 games with NH, Ryan generated an excellent .421 wOBA, and a .346 ISO. He collected 18 extra base hits and 15 home runs, which was good enough to earn him a promotion and his first taste of Triple-A baseball in 6 minor league seasons. Ryan continued to strike out too much, but still has anabove average eye at the plate (10.3 BB%).
Unfortunately, Ryan struggle to make enough solid contact in his 67 games with the Bisons and finished the year with a poor BABIP of .212 and slash line of .189/.290/.358. The main issue with Ryan is his swing. He has an upper cut swing that produces a lot of fly balls or strike outs, since his bat doesn’t spend enough time in the zone.
In 2014, Ryan struck out (or 24.4%), produced a fly out (16.5%), or pop out (8.5%) in almost 50% of his plate appearances. That works out to be about 220 unproductive plate appearances out of 465. This explains his 0.43 (NH) and 0.46 (Bisons) GO/AO. One the bright side, since he hits so many balls in the air he is very tough to double up (3 GDP).
Ryan played his last game with the Fisher Cats on June 17th and that is when things got really tough for him. Schimpf was able to put up some decent power number in July, but really struggled in August. He saw his ISO drop over 170 points between Double-A and Triple-A. His strike out number didn’t change, his BB number dropped 3%…he just stopped hitting for extra bases. He hit 8 extra base hits and 9 home runs in 67 Triple-A games.
If Ryan is back next year (six year minor leaguer), they should think about platooning him. He hit .249/.356/.519 versus RHP with 20 home runs, 48 RBI, and 16 extra base hits. Against LHP he hit .167/.248/.370 with 4 home runs, 10 RBI, and 10 extra base hits.
It’s possible that Ryan Schimpf still turns into a solid bench/role player for the Blue Jays or another major league club. It can possible that Ryan will need more Triple-A at-bats to figure things out, but it could be time for a change in scenery.