Updated: Dec 16, 2018
Prospect #19: 2B Max Schrock
Previously Ranked 19th in preseason and 15th in July reranking
Acquired from Oakland as part of the Stephen Piscotty Trade
THE QUICK WRITE UP
Max Schrock was HOT to start the year and, while Kolten Wong struggled at the major league level, many wanted to see Schrock get a chance to display his talents at the major league level. Schrock hit 323/370/409/779 in 100 April at-bats. Then, for two months, between the first of May and the 30th of June, he hit 254/293/335/628 in 188 plate appearances. Even crazier, he struggled so greatly while only striking out 13 times over this time span. Schrock's greatest tool is his ability to hit for contact. He has tremendous bat control with tremendous plate coverage. But what we've seen is that this tool also works against him sometimes. When a person is capable of making contact with everything, sometimes they're making contact with everything and not the right thing. Schrock has a tendency to go to his shoe strings to hit the ball and it's something that he doesn't do when he is zoned in. The good news is, Schrock has gotten off to a good start to begin July. Entering the AAA All-Star Game on July 11th, Max was hitting 308/379/423/802 in a very small 30 plate appearances sample size. The break will do him well and I expect to see his slash line for the rest of the season to be closer to this.
Oh, and one of the knocks on Schrock has been his average-at-best defense. It isn't that anymore. It's definitely average with flashes of above average at second base.
WHY TO GET EXCITED
Schrock has one of the best "bat-to-ball" skills in all of the minor leagues.
He doesn't strike out. Like, ever. He's K rate on the season is an incredible 7.2%. That tracks with his prior history, as well.
Schrock has surprising power. He'll probably never be a ten home run guy, but there's something sneaky in his power supply.
Schrock is a better defender than advertised. He's rangy to both his left and his right, he turns a good double play, and he has an average arm. He's "fine" at second.
He can truly make contact with any pitch that is thrown in his general direction. I'm willing to bet that he could hit marshmallows shot out of a gun from 25 feet away.
Schrock has been one of Memphis' best hitters during the months of April and July.
Schrock does a good job of going with the pitch that is thrown to him.
WHY TO BE CAUTIOUS
What is worrisome is, his OBP has dropped 40+ from last season.
Schrock really struggled from May 1st until June 30th.
Because he can make contact with everything, he's often swinging at everything. You can almost bet that he's going to swing when a pitcher has two strikes on him. This, of course, gets him in trouble late in counts.
The Cardinals love versatile players. This works against Schrock. He's played a little third, but his future is that of a second baseman and probably only a second baseman.
I'm going to stick with what I've been saying about Schrock since this offseason. There is a lot about his game that reminds me of former Cardinal Fernando Vina. There's a chance, that 5% chance, that he reaches his ultimate ceiling. At that point, you'll see something similar to Bill Mueller or D.J Lemahieu.
Thank you to Fangraphs for doing the stat-thing!
Thanks For Reading!!