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


30 Responses

  1. Jimbo44CN

    We already have better bench players. Ugghh. Another nothing pick up.

    • RojoBenjy

      They do have quite a collection of similar players—this adds another.

      • jim walker

        They are hoping this will be a breakout season for at least one of these guys and he becomes the player his friends and family thought he would be when he was back in high school. 😉

  2. RedsGettingBetter

    Dan Szymborski would say the Reds disaster off season continues… 40-man roster completed and the last nine spots were filled with a handful of unknown players…and still without a solid SS… for the most fanbase this would stinks

    • JayTheRed

      I feel like I am watching Major League the movie. Except I don’t think the Reds will make it to the playoffs.

      • Hotto4Votto

        I hope not. Just threw up in my mouth a bit thinking about a Big Bob cutout being taken down to his lingerie.

  3. Bob Purkey

    This 40 man roster strikes major fear in heart of the MLB.

    • JB

      Whoever is cheap at the MLB minimum is in the Front Office sites. Going to be alot of guys on this team who will be begging to be traded at the deadline.

    • Hotto4Votto

      Kind of feels like our 40-man roster from the glory days of 2015/2016.

      • DaveCT

        Kristopher Negron era? I did like Kris, by the by.

      • Hotto4Votto

        Pretty much. Negron, or Ivan DeJesus, Chris Dominguez, Jason Borgeois, Brennan Bosch, Ryan LaMarre, Burke Badenhop, Kevin Gregg, Jason Marquis. I mean the roster was filled with so many viable big league options, it’s hard to pick just one.

      • JB

        Brennan Boesch was a spring training phenomenon for the Reds. As soon as the season started he couldn’t by a hit. Ben Gamel reminds me of him. They always talked about Gamel until the season started.

  4. Klugo

    Throw it up there. Se what sticks. Doesn’t hurt, I guess. But do other organizations do as much of this as we seem to do? Seriously wondering. Is this a thing with all teams? All small market teams?

    • Tom Mitsoff

      Both players picked up today have options remaining. That is a constant theme of all of the players they have picked up from waivers or bought outright from other teams.

      Cincinnati had only 31 players on their 40-man roster after the wave of non-tenders late last year. That is many, many more open spots than usual, which is at least partially responsible for all of these acquisitions. Most other teams do this kind of thing, but in far smaller numbers because picking up someone off waivers means you have to make room for them on the 40-man roster. Nick Krall will be much more selective moving forward, you would think.

    • 2020ball

      The Giants have built themselves a decent OF with cast-offs.

  5. Roger Garrett

    Most teams use the vets that are cast off from other teams to fill out a major league bench.This guy can put the ball in play and can play multiple positions along with some speed it appears.Not a bad guy to have on the bench but let me be a little sarcastic and say if we don’t have somebody already in our system who is also 25 that can do those things then well its worse then we think it is down on the farm.Hard to understand the logic.

  6. RedAlert

    Pathetic front office moves continue . Please do all Reds fans a favor and sell this franchise to someone committed to putting a wining product in the field . Awful and inexcusable effort to address glaring hole at shortstop continues . What a joke !

  7. TR

    The Reds filling up of the AAA roster continues.

  8. BK

    Schrock may fill the role vacated by Josh VanMeter with less power and more speed. Ideally, he’s a depth player at AAA. One more 40-man roster spot will be available as soon as the Reds report to spring training as that will be the first day Solomon (TJ surgery) can be transferred to the 60-day IL.

    • Hotto4Votto

      VanMeter is who I thought of when I read his profile, though agree more speed and less power. Didn’t do much of anything until the juiced ball of 2019. Largely seems like AAAA material to me.

      • DaveCT

        When you think of it, 2019 created a lot of problems, not the least of which was the overvaluation of players whose talent did not match their numbers.

      • Hotto4Votto

        It really did. Aristides Aquino is a prime example. Went from being removed from the roster back to legit prospect. Combined coming off the 2019 juiced ball, and very little playing time for a lot of these guys in 2020, it’s hard to know who they are as players.

  9. Steven Ross

    I’m thinking it’s time to print those playoff tickets with this waiver claim.

    • earmbrister

      will be the Reds opening day starter at SS. Not the worst option out there.

      • Jimbo44CN

        No, he’s not, would not mind seeing him back with the Reds

      • Grand Salami

        it’s true and we e come full circle. This is just awful.

        Read that ownership is financially strapped. Any truth to that?

  10. vegastypo

    At least the Reds are consistent: Make sure they bring in anyone EXCEPT for a shortstop, their one stated goal before the offseason began.

  11. Redsvol

    I can think of 12 teams off the top of my head that have done very little this off season to improve their team – and no I don’t count signing your arbitration eligible players as improving your team in the off-season. The Diamondbacks, Rockies, Mariners, Rangers, Athletics, Angels, Marlins, Orioles, Indians, Cubs, Pirates, Brewers, Red Sox, Rays, and Giants (ok 15) have all done very little. The pandemic and upcoming labor relations has caused most teams to reevaluate their spending. I don’t see this as a bad thing. Ownership spent big last year and most of those players are still on the 2021 team.
    Would I like a better shortstop, sure! Would I like a better closer, you betcha! I’m content with seeing how the team comes together and hoping for some of the younger players to step forward in a more typical season than 2020 was. Go out and support your team and quit being so negative. GABP is cool place to see a game. Ever go to a Rays game? Its not even close.