Kipp Schutz was a 2009, 19th round selection out of Indiana University and was also drafted out of Evansville HS by the O’s in 2006. At 23, he is slightly older than the average Carolina League player, but only by a few months.
Schutz has shown gap power and the ability to hit for average at every stop in the minors so far in his young career. With his approach at the plate and additional strength — frame suggests he could gain another 15 pounds — there is optimism to suggest enough pop to satisfy the role of a corner outfielder. He is still trying to improve his strike zone discipline and adjust to the pitching of High-A baseball. His splits suggest that he will need to improve against left hand pitching in order to possibly become an everyday player. There is still time for him to improve his skills at the plate and there is no reason he should not be considered a legit prospect in the O’s organization.
He has a balanced stance with ideal depth to start out. As his motion starts, he pulls his hands back a bit with a slight drop to trigger the bat forward. His body rocks slightly back and the two points together start the forward progress into the swing; the movement may have to be shortened as he advances and faces better pitching. Sometimes these types of transfers keep hitters off balance against off speed pitching, specifically the change up.
He has a slight leg lift and drive forward while landing on a slightly rolled ankle, giving him a solid weight transfer with full weight on the front foot in his swing. Schutz has nice hip rotation at extension, which provides a seamless transition with little wasted motion that doesn’t take power from the lower half. He has a natural slight uplifting swing that suggests gap power could become home run power with additional weight and strength. As stated earlier, he gets solid extension, but I would like to see a bit more turn into it. I think he pulls up ever so slightly early, but that is nitpicking.
Some slight adjustments at the plate with additional strength could make him an average to above average contact guy with average to above average power for the corner outfield position. He is nowhere near a finished product and could easily out grow these early assessments. For a late round draft pick there is a lot to like in his game, and he’s a guy who should most definitely be on your radar.