The Oakland A's continued to add to their minor league depth chart on Thursday, dealing impending free agent Marc Rzepczynski to the Washington Nationals for second baseman Max Schrock. Rzepczynski joins a struggling Nationals ballclub looking to get back on-track and into a strong position for the post-season. Washington currently has a comfortable seven game lead in the NL East, but they are losers of four straight games.
Rzepczynski spent one season with the A's after coming over during the off-season in a deal with the San Diego Padres that also netted Oakland first baseman Yonder Alonso. Used often as a lefty specialist, Rzepczynski made 56 appearances for the A's but threw just 36 innings. He struck-out 37, but walked 24 and allowed 38 hits. Rzepczynski actually struggled versus left-handers, allowing a .296 average to southpaws. Righties are batting just .226 against him this season. Historically, Rzepczynski's splits have been the other way.
Schrock joins the A's in the midst of a breakout first full professional season. The University of South Carolina alum was the Nationals' 13th-round pick last season. He made a strong first impression last year, batting .308 with an 803 OPS in the pitcher-friendly New York-Penn League. Schrock has continued to hit well in his first full season, which has been split between Low-A and High-A. In 121 games for Hagerstown and Potomac, Schrock is batting .333/.378/.456 with nine homers and 22 stolen bases. He has a strong 31:42 BB:K, as well.
http://www.scout.com/mlb/rumors/story/1680701-hagerstown-duo-leads-north...Schrock was a mid-season South Atlantic League All-Star and he took home the game's MVP award with a two-for-three performance. He was promoted to High-A Potomac soon after the All-Star game and has hit .341 in 54 games in the Carolina League.
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.
Defensively, Schrock has experience at every infield position except first base and catcher. He profiles best as a second baseman, but could fill a utility role down-the-road. Ultimately, Schrock's bat is what will carry him, however. He is underestimated because of his size, but he has hit everywhere he has played. In college, he batted .302 in 147 games for the Gamecocks and during one season in the Cape Cod League, he hit .381 in a limited sample size. Schrock should slide into the A's minor league depth chart quite nicely, joining A's middle infield prospects in the middle levels of the system such as Franklin Barreto, Yairo Munoz, Richie Martin, Mikey White and Joe Bennie.