Less than two months into his major league career, Padres infielder Ryan Schimpf is already garnering national attention.
The young slugger crushed a rookie franchise-record nine homers in July and was just named the National League Rookie of the Month.
Schimpf actually led all MLB hitters with those nine homers during the past month.
All this after he had just three hits in his entire first two weeks in the bigs.
"Early on when I first got here, I was having good at-bats but just didn't have any hits to show for it," admitted Schimpf. "It’s easy to get caught up in that and press to get some hits.
And then finally I just got to a point where I just cared about the approach and what I was up there trying to do and the pitches I was swinging at. I mean the biggest thing is just stay with the approach - and don't give in. That's the biggest thing I've been trying to work on.”
Schimpf can play second and third base and was an outfielder in college. His versatility helps him get more playing time and his patience at the plate helps him get on-base, which is something the Padres desperately need.
The 28-year-old speaks highly of his past - especially his time in Louisiana. He helped LSU win the College World Series back in 2009, and now as a member of the current Padres infield he's hoping to be a part of the franchise's long term plans.
“I'm extremely happy to be here and happy to do what I can to help us win and to stay here," said Schimpf.
Originally a 5th round pick by Toronto, Schimpf spent a long time climbing the ladder in the Blue Jays minor league system.
After tearing it up in Triple-A El Paso, he got his big break when Corey Spangenberg and Alexi Amarista went down with injuries.
"I was with Toronto for seven years and enjoyed my time there,” recalled Schimpf. “Learned a lot of things, met a lot of good people, and the time came where I was a minor league free agent and glad I got the interest from the Padres here and very thankful for them to give me the opportunity to play in the big leagues. “
At this rate, Schimpf will be tough to keep out of the Padres lineup.