Max Schuemann running his way into Oakland A’s future
By David Hill
The Oakland A’s have desperately needed that catalyst atop their lineup. That was a major reason for their acquisition of Starling Marte, as he provided another excellent defensive player, but also an element of speed that had been missing. However, as Marte is a free agent after the season, the A’s may be on the lookout for that element once again.
They may not have to look far. Minor league infielder Max Schuemann has been running every chance he gets, and may well be sprinting towards a future role with the A’s.
Max Schuemann may not be overlooked much longer
It is easy to overlook Schuemann. The A’s have several intriguing shortstop prospects, including three in their top ten. Nick Allen may find his way to the majors soon, and there is still hope that Logan Davidson and Robert Puason will find their way. Meanwhile, Schuemann, a 20th round draft pick in the 2018 MLB Draft, is not considered amongst the A’s top prospects.
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A slap hitter without much power, Schuemann has not exactly set the minor leagues afire with the bat. He has a career .232/.335/.339 batting line in his 855 minor league plate appearances, hitting ten homers and 44 doubles. Those numbers have not been any better this year, as Schuemann has produced a combined .219/.339/.358 batting line in 320 plate appearances across two levels.
It is not his bat that is allowing Schuemann to progress through the minors. Instead, his speed is his calling card, as his 41 steals this season ranks amongst the leaders in the minor leagues. He may not get on base at the same level as Marte, nor have anything close to the same offensive ability, but his speed could make a difference.
The A’s clearly see a future role for him as he continues to develop. Schuemann has been playing at second base in Double-A after spending most of his professional career at short. With the ability to play both middle infield positions, it would not be a surprise to see him also get time in the outfield, or even at third, going forward. He could be a glove first utility man, someone whose speed could make a difference when he is in the lineup.
Max Schuemann is not the type of prospect that jumps off the page. However, his excellent speed could lead to a place in the Oakland A’s future.