Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.I have never considered myself a baseball expert, because I'm not.I don't live and breathe the game the way an A.J. Preller or Andy Green does. I've never spent a game in a Major League dugout.But I've
Bill Center, longtime sportswriter for U-T San Diego, is an employee of the Padres.
I have never considered myself a baseball expert, because I'm not.
I don't live and breathe the game the way an A.J. Preller or Andy Green does. I've never spent a game in a Major League dugout.
But I've been around the game for more than six decades, and I don't remember seeing anything quite like what Ryan Schimpf is doing.
And Green says he hasn't, either.
"It's really crazy," Green said late Friday night after Schimpf's latest display of unusual power for a 28-year-old who stands 5-foot-9 and weighs 180 pounds. "You don't think that trend can continue at this level. But he keeps driving the ball."
Although Schimpf's latest heroics included his first Major League walk-off homer to give the Padres a 7-4 win in 10 innings, it was really nothing out of the ordinary when you consider how extraordinary Schimpf's first 53 games in the Major Leagues have been.
Schimpf went 4-for-5 with two doubles, two home runs and five RBIs.
OK, Schimpf had never had four hits in a Major League game before. But this was the third time he'd hit two homers in a game. It was the second time he had multiple doubles. And he had a six-RBI game exactly a week ago.
Here's the bottom line.
Since being promoted from Triple-A El Paso on June 14, Schimpf has 38 hits with 28 -- 12 doubles, two triples and 14 home runs -- going for extra bases. Schimpf has a .593 slugging percentage to go with a .235 batting average.
That's a crazy line. Combined with a .357 on-base percentage, Schimpf has also drawn 27 walks and has been hit by five pitches in 194 plate appearances -- giving him a .950 OPS. That's an incredible number for anyone with a .235 batting average.
Now, a .235 batting average is below standards for a Major League starter. But is it acceptable given his power and run-production numbers?
Schimpf has 34 RBIs and 31 runs scored in 53 games. Extrapolate his numbers over a full season and they come out to 36 doubles, 42 homers, 102 RBIs and 93 runs scored.
The question is, can Schimpf continue doing what he is doing?
If he can, the answer is a resounding, "Yes."
Notes from the scorebook
• Schimpf's walk-off homer on Friday night was the fifth by a Padre this season. Melvin Upton Jr. had three and Adam Rosales had the most recent before Friday on July 31. The Padres have eight walk-off wins this season. It was also the Padres' 17th walk-off win against Arizona -- their most against any opponent. Schimpf's walk-off homer was the first by a Padres rookie since second baseman Cory Spangenberg connected on Sept. 2, 2014 -- coincidentally against Arizona. Thanks to Jeff Praught for offering the information.
• Right fielder Jabari Blash missed a third straight start on Friday night, due to a jammed ring finger on his left hand. He can play defense, but he can't hit. Blash has one hit in his last 19 at-bats, with 12 strikeouts.
• Right-handed starter Jarred Cosart allowed one run on eight hits and two walks with seven strikeouts on Friday night. He has worked five innings or more in three of his four Padres starts. His seven strikeouts were one shy of his career high.
• Christian Bethancourt was 2-for-3 on Friday with a run scored and an RBI. He has a career .364 batting average (12-for-33) in 11 career games against the D-backs.