This article was originally published at the Redbird Daily by Colin Garner, and is now proud to call the Cards Conclave home. Throughout July, we’ll be re-running all 30 Prospect articles as we lead up to Colin’s Mid-Season Prospect Update later in the month.
In Collaboration with Kyle Reis and Birds On The Black, Colin Garner presents you with The Cardinals Top 30 Prospects! Today, we have #19, Max Schrock.
19. Max Schrock – 2B
28th Round – 2012 Draft (Arizona)
Entering age-23 season
2017 wRC+: 128
What I Like
Even though I compared Tommy Edman to Daniel Descalos in his scouting report, from a statistical standpoint, Max Schrock is much more similar, at least at Double-A. Schrock was very good in 106 games with the Midland Rockhounds in 2017; his wRC+ estimated he was 28% above league average. His slash line of .321/.379/.422 is well rounded. Usually, I’d caution that his batting average was a byproduct of a high BABIP, but Schrock has shown the ability to create hits on balls in play and an exceptionally high rate, and I think that will continue.
Like Edman, Schrock doesn’t strike out very much, just 9.2% of his plate appearances last season. He walks more than Edman does (7.4 BB%), although he’s been in professional baseball a year longer. The combination of a low strikeout rate and a healthy walk rate is a very good sign.
Perhaps my favorite thing about Schrock is his consistency. His numbers at every level of the minors have been eerily similar. In any stint at any level consisting of 46 games or more, his batting average has been between .308 and .341, his on-base percentage between .355 and .381, and he’s slugged between .422 and .459. Schrock’s performance has been very predictable at every level, and I see no reason that shouldn’t continue in 2018.
What I Don’t Like
His defense has been described as “not special but not terrible” which isn’t a good sign going forward. Combined with his lack of plus power, his ceiling is considerably lower than what you’d expect from someone who really has excelled at every level. Perhaps his lack of power is due to his tendency to hit ground balls (41.5 GB%), but his batted-ball profile is working in at least one respect, his BABIP.
Other than that, there’s a lot to like. He’s been successful at four different stops, and he’ll have the chance to make it five at Memphis this season.
Thanks for reading! As always thanks to Baseball Reference and Fangraphs for their statistics databases. Be sure to check out Kyle’s post tomorrow at Birds On The Black, and check out Prospect To Be Named Later for even more minor league content.