It might seem controversial to say Scott Schebler is an above-average Major League Baseball player.  I don’t mean he projects to be above-average next year, or something; I mean he’s above-average now. And has been.  Recently we’ve seen comments from many on Twitter and on the hallowed pages of Redleg Nation calling for Schebler to be benched or demoted.  I’m here to say that is poppycock (even if those comments came before Schebler’s current hot streak).

Consider the following chart.  This is Schebler’s career batting line broken up by season.


Notice he’s played 124 games (as of Monday afternoon) and amassed 413 plate appearances.  This is also known as “not a full season of playing time.”

Now notice the WAR column.  He’s produced 1.9 WAR in less than a full season.  An average player produces 2.0 WAR of value in 600 plate appearances, by definition.

What does Schebler project to do over his first 600 PA?  Well, if his next 187 PA are like his previous 413 PA, he projects to be worth 2.8 WAR.  Solidly above-average.  If you like the Baseball-Reference flavor of WAR, Schebler has amassed 1.6 WAR and projects for 2.3 WAR over 600 PA.

Let’s review; an .802 OPS, a 111 wRC+, and 2.8/2.3 WAR… This is not the type of person we demote.

Schebler is a bit older than a traditional prospect at 26, but athletic power hitters can sometimes peak in their late 20s.  If the Reds are getting Scott Schebler’s peak for league-minimum and arbitration salary levels, seems to me like he’s a pretty valuable asset.  Remember, league-average play for cheap is valuable.

If I were Brick Prilliams (bit of a stretch?), I’d be letting Schebler, Adam Duvall, Billy Hamilton, and Jesse Winker each play 4-5 times a week.

Schebler is too good to forget, yet Winker also deserves a shot.  Duvall has earned himself extended playing time, and Billy is perhaps the greatest ever (Can I get that raise now, Chad?).  We need this 4- man outfield platoon.

Make it happen, Brick Prilliams!!

Stat lines courtesy of FanGraphs. BWar courtesy of Baseball-Reference.

26 Responses

  1. Gaffer

    How do you get to a 4 man outfield from Schebler being above average?

    Duvall and schebler need to play 150 games. Billy shouldn’t but will. Winker will but no rush as he still has work to do at AAA so let him get 500 PA there.

    • Jordan Barhorst

      What does Winker have to work on in AAA? He’s a big leaguer who’s blocked by two other big leaguers who happen to have been born before he was. If Jesse Winker has 500 PA in AAA at the end of the season, 2017 will have been a complete failure for him.

      • The Duke

        Winker is slugging .325 so far in AAA. Not exactly beating down the door.

      • Simon Cowell

        I don’t know
        I’m not blown away by his offense just yet

    • reaganspad

      And I think that both Duvall and Schebler can improve on the kind of major leaguer they are today. I think they are both still learning the pitchers

      I loved Jay Bruce and wanted him signed to a 100 year extension because he is going to hit 40 HRs, maybe this year.

      But it has been a joy watching Schebler emerge. He is young like Suarez and looks like he is applying the coaching. When he masters the bunt to 3rd and walks to 1st base every time the infield gives him that shift, it will be fun.

      I watched Wade Boggs take batting practice at Fenway and it was fun. Bunt left, Bunt Center, Bunt Right; Liner left, liner center, liner right; HR Left, HR Center, HR right.

      It was almost like he was trying to do it….

      Being able to wield the bat in all parts of the plate gets you through slumps. If they put 9 guys on the right side, you have to learn how to hit to left.

      Love Jay Bruce but he did not do that enough until last year, and he could have been much better if he listened to the coaching the way that Suarez and Schebler appear to be

    • Simon Cowell

      Winker has no power… Hasn’t displayed it for a long time

  2. Alex

    Barring injury or ineffectiveness, the Reds have an OF log jam. Only solution: apply to the American League.

    • Jordan Barhorst

      Get used to it – there are a ton of logs still coming down the river. Guys like Ervin, Aquino, Trammell, Friedl need a place to play, eventually. Definitely a good problem to have.

  3. joshtrum

    Schebler is no worse a batter than Bruce was here, to my eye has a step(maybe two, but not the laser cannon arm) and for being the cost peanuts, is great value, we traded Bruce and replaced with Bruce, in a way.

    • Michael

      Not a bad player to get in the Frazier trade. Seems like that trade is turning out better than many people would acknowledge and if he keeps up a the above average play over a couple of seasons it make the trade pretty darn good.

  4. IndyRedMan

    I’m no personal trainer or extreme physical specimen myself but Winker looked a little soft when I saw him for the first time w/the Reds. He needs to hit the weights and get stronger to drive the baseball! Obp is great and everything but .681 ops at Lville doesn’t scream for a promotion! You put Bengal uniforms on Duvall and Schebler and they wouldn’t look that out of place as a linebacker and a safety! They have 8 bombs apiece. Duvall hit 3 doubles on Sunday alone while Winker has 4 on the year!

    • reaganspad

      Agreed Indy,

      and that strength and conditioning program that Winker is on needs to be required for Hamilton and Pedraza as well.

      I have always inherently understood driving the ball, but the power numbers and on base (hitting better pitches) along with exit velocity have helped me enjoy the analysis even more.

      Don’t get me wrong, I will still be old school and use the eye test but that is only because I am lazy and do not want to do all the work. I come to this website to be spoon fed this information

  5. james garrett

    Schebler is a keeper and I like playing all 4 outfielders 4 -5 days a week so when does Winker arrive?Winker gets on base which is sorely needed on our team but most of all it gets some competition started.I am a big Billy fan but this is his fourth year so he needs to prove he is more then a fast guy that plays great defense.

  6. sultanofswaff

    5 guys for 3 spots—-good problem to have. Injuries pop up when you least expect them……..on this team more than most seemingly.

    The chink in the armor for Schebler is his platoon splits and to a lesser degree his throwing arm. Unfortunately, Duvall is an even/slightly reverse split guy so a platoon isn’t the best idea. No matter, both deserve to play if they can maintain the OPS.

    Sadly, Billy’s abysmal OPS lands the bullseye squarely on him. If Ervin can be 20% better in WRC+ and replace 90% of the defense while playing a full season, isn’t that a valid reason to give him a look?

    • Datdudejs

      Easy solution.. Duvall to 3b, Winker to Rf, Schebs to LF, Suarez to 2b and Peraza super subs. Then if Herrera and Senzel start knocking down the door you make some trades for other positions of need

      • G-Man

        How can an “easy solution” be switching defensive positions of 4 players…and also weakens the Reds defensively?

      • Datdudejs

        It’s not really switching if they all have played the positions before. The whole “moving guys around weakens them” thought is a little outdated. Suarez and peraza can play pretty much anywhere in the infield and schebler’s arm plays better in left field anyway. Duvall came up as a 3rd baseman and moved to outfield because of Frazier. It wouldn’t be asking that much to have him go back to his original position

  7. Sliotar

    Whether intentional or not, the Reds rebuild has a lot similarities to how the Indians became title contenders:

    -Develop young pitching
    -Creative bullpen usage
    -Top 10 in MLB in steals, bottom half in HRs
    -Add power bat to get over the top (Indians…Napoli/Encarnacion….Reds TBD, or if even needed)

    I mention all this because the Indians have chosen to let their star OF prospect, Bradley Zimmer, master AAA and even overripen, rather than call up.

    So far this season, Zimmer’s numbers are better than Winker’s. Especially with MLB capable outfielders in Cincinnati, there would seem to be no need to rush Winker up.

    When WInker is truly ready, Hamilton would be fine as a candidate to trade away, before his speed declines and he no longer provides any value.

    • reaganspad

      I remember Zimmer from Spring. Good looking prospect. I would take him.

      • IndyRedMan

        The Indians also have Tyler Naquin and Mike Clevinger at Columbus. I’d love to have any of those guys!

  8. Scott Carter

    I agree with the 4 OF’ers concept and if Winker gets 500 ABs in AAA it is a lost season for him. The answer seems so logical you wonder why it hasn’t already been done. It seems that Scooter is a very capable infielder for the bench. Duval or Kivelhan can play first in a pinch, Alacantra has not really contributed anything, except pinch running, What is the FO waiting for?

    • Tom Mitsoff

      It is apparent that the front office strategy for “sorting” includes giving the players who started the season as starters an extended look before making any changes. Only they know what the date is when that will change. But it’s clear it is a very sound strategy. What if they had bailed on Schebler seven days ago? Or Duvall? Hamilton had a good game last night. Peraza is struggling, but you can’t base judgment on his future based on one month.

      It appears that “sorting” means they will take whatever period of time is necessary in their minds to determine if a given player is an above-average MLB player at his position. I think it’s a superb idea. Nobody in AAA is blowing the doors off offensively, so there’s no reason to rush anyone up to a starting position.

      • Simon Cowell

        Yup ditto. If Winker was driving .400 and had 15 dingers then we’ll he would already be back in the bogs

  9. IndyRedMan

    MLB avg exit velocity is 87.67…..Joey is at 85.1 mph while Duvall is at 90.23 and Schebler is 90.38! Interesting! I don’t know if Schebler can hit lefties well enough full-time but when they make contact the ball takes off!

    • Jason Linden

      A lot of high EV guys are also high strikeout hitters. It’s why EV doesn’t necessarily correlate with being a top-tier hitter.

  10. scottya

    Couldn’t agree more. Schebler is trending up it appears with 900+ ops in aaa last season and appears to be getting comfortable this season. He appears to have plenty speed to add to his vslue on defense and baserunning.