The Cincinnati Reds made another roster move today, picking up infielder Max Schrock on waivers from the Chicago Cubs. Earlier in the day the team signed right-handed pitcher Braden Shiply to a minor league deal with an invite to spring training. The addition of Schrock to the 40-man roster puts the organization at a full 40-man.
Drafted out of South Carolina by the Washington Nationals in the 13th round of the 2015 draft, Max Schrock spent the first year-and-a-half of his professional career in the minors with the Nationals before being traded to Oakland in late August of 2016 along with cash for Marc Rzepczynski. A little more than a year later he was once again traded, this time to the St. Louis Cardinals.
Max Schrock remained in the minors with Triple-A Memphis in the Cardinals organization in both the 2018 and 2019 seasons. In 2018 he struggled, hitting .249/.296/.331. But in 2019, with a juiced baseball in Triple-A he hit better in his 85 games played for Memphis, posting a .275/.366/.381 line with 37 walks and 49 strikeouts. In 2020 there was no minor league season to be played, but Schrock spent time at the Cardinals alternate site and even got into 11 games with the big league club, going 3-17 with a home run. Following the season the Cardinals placed him on waivers and he was selected by the Cubs.
If you want to look at the good things that Max Schrock brings to the table, he’s a hitter who makes a lot of contact (9.3% strikeout rate in his minor league career), has stolen bases at a good clip in the minors (though hasn’t stolen a ton of bags), and seems to be capable of playing second, third, and left field. Oh, he also pitched an inning for the Cardinals in the big leagues this year and averaged 70.5 MPH on his fastball in his perfect inning of work against Cleveland on August 28th.
On the flip side, Max Schrock doesn’t have much power at all. In 480 minor league games in his career he’s hit 24 home runs and has an isolated power (SLG-AVG) of just .106. For the Reds specifically, his defense doesn’t really set him apart among the other players that seem to be competing for the backup job that he will be looking to grab.
If Cincinnati is considering a contact oriented bench player, though, Max Schrock could be that kind of guy. He’ll have to do better than he did in his 17 at-bats for the Cardinals last season where he struck out six times without a walk, but his track record in the minors is far better than that. It could be worth a look to see how he plays in the spring. He has two options remaining if the Reds opt to get him some more work in the minor leagues during the 2021 season.
Max Schrock Career Stats