LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Ryan Schimpf holds the distinction of being one of the first three opposing players to homer at SunTrust Park. The left-handed slugger may now have many more opportunities to display his power at Atlanta's new ballpark.Looking to take a chance on Schimpf, the Braves acquired
LAKE BUENA VISTA, Fla. -- Ryan Schimpf holds the distinction of being one of the first three opposing players to homer at SunTrust Park. The left-handed slugger may now have many more opportunities to display his power at Atlanta's new ballpark.
Looking to take a chance on Schimpf, the Braves acquired him from the Rays on Monday afternoon for cash considerations. The 29-year-old slugger will have a chance to compete for at-bats at third base and possibly a spot on Atlanta's bench. But because Schimpf has two Minor League options left, he might simply serve as an intriguing organizational depth piece.
"[The acquisition] is attractive with options," Braves manager Brian Snitker said. "He's done some damage in a short period of time. So, we'll see where he fits."
:: Spring Training coverage presented by Camping World ::
The Rays acquired Schimpf in exchange for a Minor Leaguer in December, but opted to part ways with him after he went hitless with eight strikeouts through his first 14 at-bats of the current Grapefruit League season.
Johan Camargo remains the favorite to open this season as Atlanta's third baseman. But as Rio Ruiz has gone 4-for-25 with 11 strikeouts thus far, the Braves had reason to search for immediate third base depth to protect against the possibility Camargo would need to shift to shortstop if Dansby Swanson struggles again this season.
Braves general manager Alex Anthopoulos served as Toronto's GM while Schimpf was making his way through the Blue Jays' farm system from 2009-15. This familiarity influenced the decision to take a flier on the infielder, who has struggled to complement his tremendous power potential with an adequate amount of offensive consistency.
Schimpf hit .195 with 34 home runs and a .809 OPS in the 527 plate appearances he tallied for the Padres over the past two seasons. He also struck out once every 2.52 at-bats and drew a walk just once every 7.64 plate appearances.
Schimpf's homer off Bartolo Colon at SunTrust Park on April 16 accounted for one of the 14 homers he tallied in 197 at-bats for San Diego last year. He owned the National League's third-highest homer total through the end of May, but with his batting average at .158 and on-base percentage resting at .284, he was optioned on June 9 and spent the remainder of the season in the Minors.
In 206 at-bats at Petco Park, Schimpf homered once every 17.1 at-bats. The 10.68 at-bats per home run ratio he's produced on the road provides reason to at least take a chance on his ability to take advantage of SunTrust Park's hitter-friendly dimensions in right field.
"You look at his numbers, he's got a lot of homers," Snitker said. "We'll bring him in and let him compete for a job. We'll see what he looks like and where he fits."
Mark Bowman has covered the Braves for MLB.com since 2001.