Dodger Chatter: Another Andrew

Dodger fans are all aware of the fall and rise of outfielder Andrew Toles. I expect many of us are waiting patiently and perhaps impatiently for the team to assign him a permanent full time role at the MLB level rather than shuttle back and forth between the parent Dodgers and OKC Dodgers.

During the 2018 First-Year Player Draft the Dodgers signed another Andrew in the 31st round of the draft out of William Jessup University in Rockin, California. Rocklin is a city in Placer County,  located in the metropolitan area of Sacramento.

Andre Shaps is a 6’1”/185-pound left-handed hitting outfielder who is a native of Paradise Valley, a small town in  Arizona.  He attended high school at Chaparral High in neighboring Scottsdale where he posted a triple slash of .373/.451/.554 over 59 games while scoring 47 runs and driving in 40. He also posted a 2.52 ERA over 19 tripe s to the mound.

Following graduation from high school Shaps headed off to Arizona State University and had a three-year slash line  of .307/.357/.455 in 365 career plate appearances. He pitched only 4.2 innings with the Sun Devils striking out 11 but walking three and allowing three runs. Everything was going well for the now 22-year-old Shaps during his junior year at ASU until he was advised he was being released and would not return to the Sun Devils for the 2018 season.

The reason for the break-up was a bit vague as one might expect. One suggestion was that it came as a result  of a tweet storm with the coach’s son. More formally he was advised he was released for “failure to buy into team culture.” That came as a bit of a surprise to Shaps as he had willingly foregone the opportunity to play in the prestigious Cape Cod Summer Collegiate League in 2016 at the request of the ASU coaching staff.

Shaps did play with the Lakeshore Chinooks of the Northwoods League  during the summer of 2015 and with the Victoria HarbourCats of the West Coast League in 2017. He hit well in both league’s especially in the West Coast League where he hit .441 under team head coach former major leaguer Brian McRae.

Following his dismissal from the ASU Sun Devils Shaps headed to William Jessup University. His season was cut short by injury and he made only 64 plate appearances with the Warriors.  They were productive as he hit .453 with an OBP of .500. On the mound as a left-hander he did strike out 19 hitters in 14.2 innings but also allowed nine runs.

Shaps was grateful for the opportunity to play with the WJU Warriors and responded well both on and off the field.

“I can’t say enough good things about Jessup and my experience with the baseball program,” Shaps said. “They took a chance on me during a crucial time in my baseball career when they didn’t have to. The coaching staff and each player on that team welcomed me in from day one and I’m so proud to become the first player drafted out of Jessup!”

Jessup head coach, Jake McKinley, remarked on his growth at season’s end  as Shaps became the first WJU player to be drafted by a  MLB team.

“Although it was halted by injury, it was a real privilege to coach Andrew,” head coach wrapping up his first season at the helm, Jake McKinley said. “He was an excellent teammate and was extremely coachable. He’s come a very long way in the last few months, and this accomplishment deserves celebration.”

Shaps initially couldn’t work up the courage to turn on his television to follow the June Amateur Draft. He had been a possible Day 2 selection in 2017 before his situation deteriorated at ASU. Now he pretty much expected his name would not be called in any round. The scouts that had been in contact with him hadn’t been heard from for some time. He expected his dream of playing professional baseball had died when he was released by the Sun Devils the previous May.

His curiosity did get the best of him and he gave in checking his computer just to be absolutely sure his name hadn’t been called. It hadn’t but on Day 3 of the draft a familiar name appeared on his phone screen with a message. It was Dodger area scout Tom Kunis telling him to hang tight as the Dodgers were going to pick him.

Shaps has yet to begin his professional career, perhaps as a result of his injury during the college season with Jessup. It would not be surprising to see him begin his climb in 2018 with the Great Lakes Loons after a brief stint in rookie ball.

Photocredit: Lincoln News

Note from Mark:

I had not heard from DC for quite some time, so I e-mailed to see how he was.  His response was:   “I am great. Never a summer like this. Oldest son  and wife were home for just over a month, daughter  here for a while, younger son and wife  had a baby. My wife  and I were there to help out for a while. Family smothered a big part of the minor league season for us but a summer to remember. Slowing down now so baseball will get more of a look.  BTW I am a Grampa again at age 77. Hope you have a  great game today and tomorrow in Milwaukee. I am really concerned about Kenley.” 

So, it is true that he cares more about family than the Dodgers…. and that’s a good thing!

This article has 40 Comments

  1. Congrats on the new grandkid. Family time is special when there is a new addition.

    Thanks for the write up on Andrew Shaps. Hope to see him progress in the system. Glad to see a kid get a shot at a dream.

    1. I couldn’t access the article as I don’t have a subscription. I didn’t take a free 7-day trial as I wouldn’t first submit my MC number.

      Hopefully Andrew will get started this season.

  2. Interesting write-up. I enjoyed it.
    I suppose I should be worried about muncy’s defense at 3b but compared to Ryan Braun at 1b he’s Brooks robinson.
    I might like to see Forsythe get some starts at 3b. Therein lies some of his [apparent] value.
    I thought bellinger was completely lost at the plate until that triple. Maybe it’s a start.
    Kemp’s swing on his 2nd hr was gorgeous.
    Machado is so fun to watch play. You almost forget how young he is. Easy hall of fame talent. It’s funny he reminds me a little if sezgef in his physicality an DC demeanor.
    Turned it off before Ferguson bit obviously impressed. Good luck sending him down again.
    Turner to the dl is a no brainer. Farmer, toles, verdugo, or connor joe! Dark horse is rios.
    I think you guys are too tough on kershaw. He didnt pitch badly. His defense let him down. I’m still a believer.
    I enjoyed my free preview on I thought the user Interface was excellent. Might bite the bullet and get it fir the remainder if the season.
    Looking at run differential, only the cubs come near us in n l. A l has three super teams and maybe four with cleveland. Trade deadline should be active. Philly is the team to watch.
    Chris Taylor is still my favorite dodger.

      1. Did you know you can stream all Dodgers games at MLB reddit? There’s one trusted marked loveit or closely to love it. Works well on my desktop, not so well on my stupid smart TV.

  3. I actually caught a couple of William Jessup games. I was surprised that they actually had a baseball team, and I wanted to see them. I cannot say that Shaps caught my attention.
    This is in Dodgerrick’s back yard.

    1. William Jessup is a small liberal arts Christian school about 10 miles away. They moved (and changed their name) about 15 years ago (they used to be in Silicon Valley). I’ve been there for meetings but haven’t seen a ballgame there.

  4. Anybody have thoughts on Rosscup’s stuff? Paredes 2.0 or potentially something more? And whatever happens to liberatore?

    1. Rosscup features a low 90’s fastball that he works in with his changeup and slider. Ironically despite the high walk numbers, Rosscup does a fairly good job of throwing his offspeed pitches for strikes. While Rosscup is not going to overpower anyone, he has the offspeed stuff to handle a role as a situational lefty.
      Adam Liberatore last pitched for the Dodgers on June 20. He was optioned to OKC on June 23 for the third time this season and has not pitched with OKC since then. He is presently still on the 7-day DL with left forearm soreness.
      This about Liberatore on July 12. “More than one month later, the 30-year-old has made little progress. “He’s still in Arizona. We took an MRI, it was negative, so it’s just a forearm strain,” Dodgers manager Dave Roberts said. “He’s trying to work through that. I know he’s not off a mound right now, I don’t know when a day of return would be. To think about Adam, when his return is, I can’t even forecast it.”
      Working through it almost never seems to workout very well.

  5. Interesting stuff from old friend Jesse Chavez on how pitching with the Dodgers compared with other teams he has been with:
    “With the exception of the Dodgers, I’ve really just been able to pitch my own game and not be told when, and when not to, to do certain things,” said Chavez, who was then with the Angels. “You want to be coachable — you don’t want a bad rap, and all that — and if something helps me get outs, I’m going to do it. At the same time, I know what works for me. Don’t just bring me a piece of paper saying ‘This guy is doing this with curveballs,’ because my curveball might be different than the curveballs he’s been hitting. Who’s to say this guy is going to take the same swing on mine as he will on somebody else’s?”
    In the case of Chavez and the Dodgers, the issue was less about the curveball and more about fastball location.
    “I like pitching down in the zone,” explained Chavez. “Sometimes they wanted me to pitch a lot up, and went I went up, my up wasn’t high enough. Pitching at the letters isn’t me. I now that analytics can be really, really good, but some philosophies match, and some philosophies don’t. Mine and theirs didn’t mesh.”

    1. Interesting comments from a career 4.59 ERA, 4.39 FIP, and 1.370 WHIP swing pitcher, who has never pitched in a post season game.
      I will agree with his last statement…”I know that analytics can be really, really good, but some philosophies match, and some philosophies don’t. Mine and theirs didn’t mesh.” Every team and every batter knows that the Dodger pitchers are pushed to pitch up in the zone. It is no secret. And yet, they are generally successful, although relievers not as much this year.
      Shame on the Dodgers for trying to take a very very mediocre pitcher and trying to improve them.
      Comparatively speaking, let’s look at his numbers with the Angels in 2017 , a team actually identified.
      5.35 ERA, 5.09 FIP, 1.399 WHIP. If Chavez considers that successful, then he and I (and presumably the Dodgers) have a different definition of success.

      1. Whoa Whoa Whoa.
        Nice shooting Tex.
        I don’t think anyone was shaming the Dodgers. I don’t think anyone is positing Chavez as the beacon of truth for pitchers.
        Chavez is simply saying that the help the Dodgers provided, didn’t work with him strategically or tactically.
        Let’s not turn him into a pariah for being honest.

        1. Chavez is a below average pitcher. Looking forward to him sucking “his way” for the Cubs .

        2. I don’t think AC believes he is a pariah, but a pitcher with his pedigree (not very good) might consider how changing your thinking and pitching can change your career.

          Ask Miles Mikolas!

          I’m not saying Chavez is a bad guy, but he might be better if he were more reseptive to coaching. Just my opinion…

          He is a guy who “stuff” never played up…. always down.

  6. My youngest son graduated from Chaparral H.S. and ASU so I found Andrew’s story more interesting. I doubt the Dodgers drafted him without understanding what happened at ASU.

  7. Enjoyed the game yesterday, although after Wood loaded the bases with no one out in the 1st, I thought it was gonna be a long day.

    Agree with Dion above, about Bellinger. He looks like he is really struggling, as is Barnes.

    Like what I’ve seen of Manny so far. What an arm!!
    Also, looks good in the middle of our lineup..

    Having had lots of Adductor trouble myself, JT needs to rest completely, and then do lots of strengthening exercises. He needs to go on the DL.
    Get Verdugo up.

  8. FWIW. I’m glad we traded Diaz rather than lux. I might be wrong but middle infielders are much harder to come by than outfielders. I’d be thrilled if lux became our long term 2b. Seagers our ss until he isnt.

    1. Not many SS have had TJ and very few have came back and fluorished. Just a fact.

  9. FAZ needs to trade some of these older good prospects for younger prospects with really high ceilings. I know it’s gambling, but it’s like poker, if you know what you’re doing it increases your odds. Just my opinion.

  10. I wonder if the Dodgers have any interest in Schoops. His stats are down this year but looked good in 2016 and 2017. He and Machado are friends maybe as close as Kershaw and AJ Ellis. He is 26 and a free agent in 2020.
    To keep the payroll under the tax threshold, Forsythe would have to go to Baltimore. Britton and Shoops for Forsythe, Baez, and prospect.
    .There is a good chance that Machado moves to third until Turner returns and Taylor would go back to SS.

  11. I hope verdugo makes it impossible to take him out of the lineup. Recent players this happened to: turner, Taylor, bellinger, muncie. I want to say barnes in the postseason but that was more related to Grandals wifes labor.
    If verdugo can hit and keep hitting, he can force our hand. Can Puig be traded while on the dl?

  12. Dionysis, funny you mention Puig. Today on 570 sports talk, David Vasseigh the Dodger correspondent hinted that Baltimore is interested in Puig. Could he go to Balt as part of a Britton deal? would we even do that?

      1. Me too. Make sure the money works and pull the trigger. Baltimore could flip him next year at the deadline. Cant see them saying no. Unless they’d rather have two middling prospects.

  13. I love Verdugo… happy that he’s being called up. But I’ve been very disappointed in how little patience they have with Toles.

    Joc has been given somewhere in the neighborhood of 200 opportunities to keep failing before he started producing. It looks like that patience has paid off… Joc has improved a lot this year. While I still don’t think he could throw out Bartolo Colon tagging from third on a shallow fly ball… I’m glad that he’s starting to turn things around at the plate.

    I hope they treat Verdugo a little more like Joc than they do Toles. I think he has tremendous potential and very similar to Toles… his contact hitting and speed should hopefully help the team manufacture some runs when they’re facing the better teams and pitchers.

    1. Val

      I feel the same way, and I believe if either guy had gotten four years to prove themselves, they would be much father along.

      Because I believe Joc’s experience is helping Joc more then anything else, and also finally listening, to Turner Ward.

      But Verdugo is only average, when it comes to speed.

      But Toles still does have elite speed, for a baseball player.

      1. Yup… I agree.
        I was critical of Joc and Dave’s belief in him over the last two years. But at the end of the day… I’m a team first guy… whatever is best for the team and helps them win games. I don’t mind if the team sits my favorite players or trades them if I think it will make the team better.

        In my humble opinion… Toles makes this team better. He just makes things happen… or to put it another way, special things seem to happen when he’s in the lineup.

        I’ve read different reports / comments on the interwebs that allude to the fact that he rubs the management and coaches the wrong way. Never sure what and how much to believe when it comes to that stuff though.

  14. Machado at 3b tonight

    I’m officially ready to think about his long term future here

      1. Evidently Robert’s can make anyone play anywhere (except farmer at catcher).

  15. Joc Pederson is hitting .196 over the last 30 days, only Logan Forsythe is worse at .174, what is all this talk about his turn around?

    He is regressing to the mean, put Taylor back in lead off for good or give Verdugo a shot.

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