In a minor trade with the San Diego Padres, the Tampa Bay Rays acquired their second infielder in as many days with the acquisition of Ryan Schimpf on Day 2 of the Winter Meetings.
The Tampa Bay Rays have begun to make some moves at the Winter Meetings. On Tuesday, the Rays and San Diego agreed to a deal that will send Ryan Schimpf to the Rays for minor leaguer Deion Tansel. The club announced the deal this afternoon.
The 29-year old LSU graduate will be added to the competition for infield spots in Tampa. Schimpf has only played in 133 games in his MLB career with most of that time being split at third and second base.
At the plate, Schimpf is known as a fly-ball hitter and little more than that. Schimpf had a fly-ball percentage of 63.9 percent on batted balls in 2017. He launched 14 home runs in 2017 after hitting 20 in his rookie season.
Schimpf is an all or nothing kind of hitter. His average fell to .152 and he spent time in Triple-A in 2017. Schimpf hit 19 home runs in 242 at-bats at the Triple-A level.
With that power came an unhealthy number of strikeouts and a very low batting average for the infielder. Schimpf struck out 35.5 percent of the time last season. His on-base percentage dropped by 52 points in his second year in San Diego.
While he does have high strikeout numbers, Schimpf will fill a role for the Rays in 2018. With Brad Miller possibly moving to first and Evan Longoria and Adeiny Hechavarria potentially being moved, the Tampa Bay Rays will have several holes to fill throughout the infield. At the very least, Schimpf will provide some power off the bench.
According to Matt Kelly of MLB.com, Schimpf led all MLB hitters in launch angle in 2017. He also had 24 percent of his batted balls launch at a pop-up level.
The Rays sent infielder Deion Tansel to San Diego in return. The 2016 26th round pick for the Rays, Tansel emerged as a solid hitter in rookie ball, hitting .277 for Hudson Valley as a 23-year-old.