Lamb and Schebler once again

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Three years ago I wrote a piece about Jake Lamb and Scott Schebler when they were slugging home runs in the Southern League

One thing stood out for me. Jake Lamb and Scott Schebler are the exact same baseball age at 23. 67. Jake Lamb was promoted two weeks ago to be the Diamondbacks starting 3rd baseman.  Lamb had the highest wOBA in the Southern League at .433, but his BABIP was sitting at .389. Schebler has an wOBA of .403 but with a more reasonable BABIP of only .304.

Since that promotion, Jack Lamb has been the starting 3rd baseman and has hit 53 home runs with an OPS just a tad below .800 at .799.  This year Lamb has 14 home runs and is one of six NL 3rd baseman with an OPS > .900.

Schebler wouldn’t get a Dodger promotion in 2014. In fact, he barely got a promotion in 2015 getting in just 19 games.  Fifteen months after I had compared Schebler favorably to Jake Lamb it was looking like a bad comparison.  One was a starting 3rd baseman, the other couldn’t even crack a twenty-five man roster.

Schebler was traded in the winter of 2015 to the Reds along with teammate Jose Peraza in a three-team deal. The Dodgers got Trayce Thompson and hard-throwing Montas.  Thompson was kind of the right-handed version of Scott Schebler but with some major league success already under his belt.

Thompson started off 2015 on fire and Schebler started it off in a slump so bad that he was sent back to AAA. Those who are quick to note these things claimed the Dodgers had made another heist in the deal.

One year later, that trade isn’t looking as good as it looked last year at this time. This time Thompson is the one in AAA and struggling to get back to the major league roster.

Schebler struggled in April but his manager had his back and now Scott Schebler has an NL league-leading sixteen home runs.

“(Price) told me ‘Hey, don’t look over your shoulder,’” Schebler said. “This is your job, you are going to be the everyday guy, we are going to give you an ample amount of opportunity. That just meant everything me because it’s such a sample-size game that you press a little bit and you feel pressure. For him to do that, to have my back on that … I think he knows what kind of person I am. It’s a credit to him to pull me into his office like that and know that it would mean a lot to me, whereas maybe it wouldn’t mean as much to other guys.”

He’s hit eight home runs in both April and May.  That comparison to Jake Lamb isn’t looking so bad now.  The two of them have combined for 30 home runs and they now have a career OPS within five points of each other.  Both seem locked into their positions for the foreseeable future.

I was always a big fan of Scott Schebler, but I was kind of expecting a guy who could play decent corner outfield defense, a little speed, and hit right hand pitching with enough power to keep him in the lineup. At no time did I think Schebler was a 30 home run type of guy. Nor did I think Jake Lamb was that type of guy. I thought they could have similar careers but I didn’t think the careers would be this good.

My only disappointment in Schebler is his lack of triples at the major league level. One of my favorite Schebler stats was his propensity for hitting triples. He hit 62 minor league triples but only two major league triples. Go figure.

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