The Padres entered 2016 expecting to see their second base position filled with a speedy hitter with average in Cory Spangenberg. An injury to him and several more since gave Ryan Schimpf a chance at the majors. After a slow June he has exploded in July.
The Padres signed Schimpf as a free agent after he started his minor league career with the Blue Jays but stalled in several chances at AAA. He started the year in El Paso and hit .355 with 15 HR and nearly 50 RBI, earning a call up to the big league club. He is showing he has power and will battle Cory Spangenberg when he returns for the starting job.
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With two more last night, he now has 4 in July after struggling early in his call-up at the end of June.
He is just 5’9″ but has hit at least 22 home runs each of the past five seasons. He is enjoying the moment he has worked so hard to get to:
“I’ve been working and preparing for this moment from all the years I spent in the Minor Leagues, practicing and playing like I would be here at some point. That’s just how I’ve always played. I’m definitely happy to be here and grateful for the opportunity to play with these guys.”
The Padres are enjoying the power surge. Manager Andy Green had early praise for his approach at the plate, perhaps unusual for a rookie even though this rookie is 28 years old:
“If he stays in the strike zone, he’s going to be successful. … He has a lot of power. It might not look like it in the package, but he has a lot of power.”
Spangenberg is slow on his rehabilitation and expected back best case in early August. Schimpf might be the only Padre disappointed in the All Star Break coming at a time when he seems in the zone at the plate.
The Padres season appears to be one now where the team can regroup and really assess certain fringe players like Schimpf and Perdomo and plan for the future ahead. Schimpf for his part is making a good showing to stay in the Majors – a level he has worked so hard to get to.