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The season began in Triple-A for Scott Schebler, playing for the Oklahoma City Dodgers. The year could have gotten out to a better start for the outfielder, who went 3-20 with a walk and seven strikeouts in the first week of the season. The next week didn’t go much better, going 3-19, but two of those hits were home runs and he added three walks. Over the final eight games of April the 24-year-old picked things up, going 9-27 (.333) with a double and three more home runs. While he hit five home runs on the month, his .227/.292/.485 line wasn’t much to write home about.
May, much like April, got out to a slow start. In the first week Schebler would go 3-15 with two doubles, but he drew seven walks and had just two strikeouts. The hits just weren’t falling. The second week of May continued down the slow path as he went 5-24 (.208) with a home run, one walk and seven strikeouts. In the third week of the month he would play in four games and rack up just one hit in 16 at-bats (.063) as his slump continued. Things picked up briefly for a few days in the middle of the final nine games of the month, but overall he went just 8-33 (.242) down the stretch as his month long slump kept going. In 102 plate appearances he would hit just .193/.304/.295 with just four doubles, a triple and a home run. He did draw 11 walks and had just 19 strikeouts on the month.
June started out well enough as Schebler went 4-13 in the first four games with a walk and a strikeout. He was briefly called up by the Dodgers, going 1-3 on June 6th against the Cardinals, but was back in Triple-A on the 7th. In the second week of the month he would go 6-22, but smack four extra-base hits on the week. Things picked up at a torrid pace in the third week as the outfielder went 11-19 (.579) with three extra-base hits and three walks. After that week though, he cooled off, going 6-27 (.222) in the final eight games of the month. One very strong week carried the month and helped Schebler hit .322/.388/.586, easily the best one of the season.
July got out to a rough start as the Dodgers outfielder went 2-13 in the first three games of the month with five strikeouts before hitting the disabled list for two weeks with an unspecified hand injury. In the first week back he tore the cover off of the ball, going 8-24 (.333) with a double, two triples and a home run to go along with three walks over six games. He carried that forward for the next three games, racking up two hits in each game, but then went 3-27 (.120) to finish out the month. He only had 82 plate appearances due to the time he spent on the disabled list and hit just .250/.305/.408 with four walks and 17 strikeouts.
The slump that ended July carried over into August as Schebler went 5-25 (.200) in the first week of the month without a walk or an extra-base hit. He warmed up some in the second week, going 5-20 (.250) with three walks and slugging .500 thanks to a homer and a triple. A huge game on the 19th, going 3-5 with a double and three walks couldn’t save an otherwise poor week where the outfielder went 6-29 (.207) with three intentional walks. The struggles continued over the final 11 games of the minor league season as Schebler would go 10-44 (.227) to post a .220/.313/.322 line down the stretch.
He would be called up to the big leagues for September and get into 17 games, though most of it was spent as a pinch hitter. He had some success though, hitting .242/.324/.515 with three home runs in 37 plate appearances to go with three walks and 12 strikeouts.
The 2015 season was a step backwards for Schebler from his previous two seasons where he hit a combined 55 home runs, 52 doubles and 27 triples. Just how much the hand injury played into his struggles down the stretch are unknown, but his power numbers certainly tailed off when he returned.
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Hitting | Schebler has a slightly below-average hit tool. He can use the entire field.
Power | His best tool, showing above-average power potential with the ability to hit the ball out to his pull side and to center quite well.
Running | He’s an average runner that seems to be able to use what speed he does have well.
Arm | His arm is below-average and profiles best in left field.
Defense | His speed limits him to a corner outfield position, but he’s got solid range in both corners.
Power is the carrying tool for Scott Schebler. He’s got a chance for 20+ home runs in the big leagues if he can turn himself into an every day player. While he hit more home runs to left field this year than he did to center or to right, that’s the Pacific Coast League at work as his history shows he’s got far more power to the pull side and to center than he does going the other way. As a left handed hitter he’s had some struggles with lefties. Over the last three minor league seasons he has 23 walks and 103 strikeouts in 423 plate appearances against lefty pitchers. In the 2013 and 2014 seasons he did show plenty of power against lefties, but that fell off the map in 2015. While being left handed does give him value in a platoon situation, without improvements he looks like a platoon player because of the struggles with same-handed pitchers.
On the defensive side of things, while he’s played a limited amount of time in center field in the minors, that’s something he could only do in an emergency situation at the big league level as his average speed simply isn’t enough to make that work. His below-average arm is a better fit for left field than in right field, but he’s got the range to handle either corner spot if needed.