This week’s respondents are Nick Doran, Nick Carrington, the inimitable Mary Beth Ellis, and Chad Dotson.
Our Daily Reds Obsession: What’s the best-case scenario for Scott Schebler? Worst-case?
Nick D: Schebler is coming into his age-27 campaign after turning in a .233 batting average with 30 home runs this past season. If he can flip the script on his unlucky .248 BABIP and get some positive mojo in that respect, it is not out of the question for him to hit .275 with 40 homers and 110 RBI if he gets to play every day. On the downside he could go into another one of his extended funks and end up riding the bus back to Louisville when Jose Siri forces his way to the majors.
Nick C: Best-case scenario – Schebler returns to his 2017 pre-injury form and blasts the cover off of the ball. I don’t think he’s going to be a really high on-base hitter, but he has the kind of power that changes baseball games. If he consistently taps into that, he could be a .255/.320/.525 player.
Worst-case scenario – Schebler is a free swinger, and pitchers often take advantage of such guys. His K% increased in 2017, and if it goes any higher, he will have trouble sustaining success. Swinging at bad pitches not only leads to strikeouts, but it will mitigate his ability to tap into his power. If this happens, he becomes a dangerous bat off of the bench.
Mary Beth: The best-case scenario for Scott Schebler is for him to stay the course on his personal grooming. At last check, he was without rodent-infested beard and with hair shorter than mine. This is mostly what I ask of in a ballplayer.
This is where we are as we seek the dawn of the 2018 baseball season: A player who doesn’t look weird is weird. If you don’t have the appearance of a drifter fresh off a murdering spree who is en route to the most fragrant bus station in town, you are right out of style. The return of polyester uniforms cannot be far behind.
Worst-case scenario? Hiring Brian Wilson’s personal stylist.
Chad: A lot depends on what the Reds roster looks like on Opening Day. The best-case scenario for the Reds might be for Schebler to be traded, opening up space in the outfield to play Jesse Winker full-time. The best-case scenario for Schebler is that he plays 140 games, in Cincinnati or elsewhere; if he does that, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if he posted 3.5 to 4 wins above replacement, maybe hitting 40 bombs or so. I think he’s a very good bet to be better than Adam Duvall in 2018.
Worst-case: he repeats his 2017 production, but in a smaller role because the Reds are trying to juggle four outfielders all season long.