"I grew up in Cedar Rapids, Iowa," Schebler said. "So your choices are either Cubs or [Cardinals], and I grew up a Pujols fan. I came up with the Dodgers, but always in the back of my mind, I grew up a Cardinals fan. I got to meet Albert in the Freeway Series when we played the Angels, and I thought that was a treat because he's an awesome guy. He's a great human being."
Schebler, acquired from the Dodgers in the three-team trade that sent Todd Frazier to the White Sox, has broken out of a slump with a surge that included five multi-hit games and five homers in his past six games, including a 3-for-5 performance Sunday with two doubles and two RBIs in the Reds' 5-4 win over the Cardinals.
Schebler's eight home runs for the season are tied with Joey Votto for the team lead and also tied for the sixth-most in franchise history in March and April. (Tony Perez's 10 in 1970 lead that impressive list.)
"I feel like Scott has a skill set that's unique," Reds manager Bryan Price said. "I think he can be an outstanding player. He's just got to continue to learn about the ebb and flow of emotions and try to stay on that so-called even keel, an even plane to where he can just go out there and play and not feel like he has to look over his shoulder and not feel like a rough game at the plate necessitates big changes, to just get a little more comfortable playing here."
Schebler has looked comfortable facing his former favorite team.
In 19 games against the Cardinals going into Sunday's series finale, Schebler is hitting .328 (19-for-58) with two doubles, five home runs, 13 RBIs, 12 runs scored, a .426 on-base percentage and a .621 slugging percentage.
In 12 games at Busch Stadium he has 10 hits, and four of them have left the park. He hit a home run in Friday's 7-5 loss and just missed a second with a long drive that was caught at the warning track in right-center field.
"It's a good ballpark," Schebler said. "When it gets hot here, it can fly. [Friday] night it really wasn't flying that great, but I just happened to get a pitch up in the zone and did some damage with it."
Nate Latsch is a contributor to MLB.com, based in St. Louis.