San Diego Padres: Don’t lose faith in Ryan Schimpf

May 4, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres third baseman Ryan Schimpf (11) at bat during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports
May 4, 2017; San Diego, CA, USA; San Diego Padres third baseman Ryan Schimpf (11) at bat during the seventh inning against the Colorado Rockies at Petco Park. Mandatory Credit: Jake Roth-USA TODAY Sports /
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Despite his recent struggles, the San Diego Padres shouldn’t lose faith in infielder Ryan Schimpf. His power is too valuable, and his potential is too great.

San Diego Padres fans are no strangers to talented power hitters. They know one when they see one. After all, Friars fans have been fortunate enough to have witnessed the remarkable power of Ken Caminiti, Phil Nevin, Dave Winfield, and of course, Tony Gwynn.

Which is why when rookie Ryan Schimpf hammered out 20 bombs in 2016 in just 89 games, it was impossible to ignore even during a rebuilding season.

Fast-forward to 2017, and all of a sudden, Schimpf isn’t even on the big league club anymore, and some fans are ready to run him out of town.

Call it an exaggerated version of a sophomore slump, Schimpf’s 197 plate appearances are forgettable for the most part. The 29-year-old is hitting a pitiful .158 and has struck out 70 times.

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Struggles like these warrant a trip back to triple-A El Paso, but they shouldn’t cause the organization to lose hope in their offseason acquisition of just a season ago.

Even in the midst of a miserable 2017, there are some positives to take away. Most notably, Schimpf has 14 home runs and 25 RBI, once again a testament to his natural power. Even when he’s struggling mightily, Schimpf is able to be on pace for over 40 runs in a season.

Also, despite the low batting average, Schimpf has a respectable .284 on base percentage thanks to 27 walks. This shows the infielder’s ability to work through at bats and stay patient even when enduring the worst slump of his young career.

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Most of all, it must be remembered that Schimpf’s success last season was over the course of a much greater sample size than this season. Last season, Schimpf stepped up to the plate 330 times, almost twice as many as his 197 plate appearances this time.

It may be easy for fans to let go of Schimpf on a dime because the organization really didn’t invest anything in the young player. The Blue Jays drafted him in 2009. It wasn’t until after the 2015 season that San Diego signed him as a free agent, and it’s not like he spent any significant amount of time as a Padre prospect.

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Still, the potential that Schimpf has yet to fully realize is worth the wait and the roster spot. He isn’t a superb defensive infielder, but his power numbers through 142 career games stand out even among baseball’s best. There has to be a spot for Schimpf, and it is the Padres’ job to find it. As for us, it’s our job not to give up on Schimpf.