This morning, the A's completed a trade with the Washington Nationals, agreeing to send left handed reliever Marc Rzepczynski in exchange for minor league second baseman Max Schrock. Who is Max Schrock you ask? Excellent use of context clues to find this thread, in which we endeavor to discover more on the A's newest prospect.
Max Schrock is a 21 year old second baseman who most recently played in the Carolina league for the High-A Potomac Nationals. Schrock was drafted out of the University of South Carolina in the 13th round in 2015, making this only his second season in professional baseball. The 5'8" middle infielder profiles about as you would expect a player of his nature: he hits for a high average with enough pop to succeed, and he's a speedster. This year, he's stolen 22 bases in 27 attempts at a very respectable 81% clip. You can find his full Minor League page here!
The scouting reports and reactions
--John Sickels of Minor League Ball had Schrock pegged as the 15th best prospect in the Nationals system, and had this to say:
15) Max Schrock, 2B, Grade C+: Age 21, 13th round pick from South Carolina but above-slot $500,000 bonus is more indicative of his ability and he should have gone as high as the third round, hit .308/.355/.448 with 13 walks, 16 strikeouts in 172 at-bats in NY-P, excellent feel for hitting with surprising pop, defense not special but not terrible and they'll find a spot if he keeps hitting like this.
The C+ range is often the de facto spot for "lottery ticket guys", and Sickels noting that Schrock could have gone much higher in the draft is a nice indication of his decent ceiling.
--MLB.com had Schrock as the 17th best prospect in the Nationals organization prior to the season
-Schrock didn't crack Baseball America's National's top 10 list this season, but prospect guru Ben Badler of Baseball America had this to say:
Love this move for Oakland. Max Schrock can hit. https://t.co/2YWgsXotes— Ben Badler (@BenBadler) August 25, 2016
Schrock did warrant praise as a "riser" in Baseball America's midseason National's update (subscription required).
--FanGraph's Carson Cistulli, one of the original lovers of Jharrel Cotton, has a major Schrock crush too. Cistulli isn't exactly a prospect guru, but he makes an interesting statistical case for Schrock as an intriguing prospect, comparing him to a former SEC and A's player you may or may not have heard of before. You've been warned.
In June, Cistulli took another look at Schrock in his final month before being promoted from the Southern Atlantic League to the Carolina league, and the numbers are impressive. While Cistulli's claims of Schrock being a future MVP are mostly in jest, the intrigue in Schrock is real and warranted.
--Melissa Lockard of Scout.com's Athletics has an awesome write-up about Schrock I'd highly encourage you to read. Here's a snippet!
Schrock isn't a big guy, standing just 5'8'' and weighing 180 pounds. However, he has some gap power and the speed to turn singles into doubles. The left-handed hitter controls the strike-zone well and does a solid job of using the whole field. While he was in Low-A, he led that level in lowest strike-out percentage amongst qualified batters. In three years at USC, Schrock walked more than he struck-out. He is also young for a college draft pick. Schrock won't turn 22 until October, so he will likely play his age-22 season at the Double-A level.
--Chris Mitchell of FanGraphs looked at Schrock's future outcomes using the projecton system Katoh and made some player comps based on Schrock's background.
His swing is aesthetically pleasing
There are lots of reasons to be excited about Schrock and happy with the 21 year old as return for a month of a LOOGY who really couldn't get lefties out. The odds are against him ever reaching the bigs but you can still get excited: flipping a reliever for a guy with decent upside is exactly the kind of small scale trade that can pay big dividends for a low budget, non-contending team and this is an excellent move for the A's.
Feel free to dump any links or info you may have on Schrock in the comments below!