Meet Newest Dodger Jaime Schultz

On Tuesday it was announced that the Dodgers had acquired right-hander Jaime Schultz from the Tampa Bay Rays in exchange for 22-year-old right-hander Caleb Sampen who had been selected by the Dodgers in the 20th round of the 2018 First-Year Player Draft. On January 4 the Rays had designated Schultz for assignment after receiving right-hander Oliver Drake from the Blue Jays in exchange for cash considerations. Drake had also been designated for assignment by the Jays. The 27-year-old Schultz was born in Albany, New York and attended high school at Maple High School in neighboring Castleton, New York. Following High School, he embarked on a three year term with High Point University in North Carolina. He was actually at High Point for four years having missed the 2011 season with successful TJ surgery. With the Panthers he posted a 3.90 ERA over 160 Innings in which he gave up 129 hits and struck out 176. He walked 109. Schultz was selected by the Rays in 14th round of the 2013 First-Year Player Draft. Over six minor league seasons he compiled an ERA of 3.57 over 423.2 innings pitched while allowing only 357 hits. He rang up an impressive 555 strikeouts but also walked 245 batters. Schultz missed the first half of the 2017 season as he wound up requiring surgery for both groin and knee issues. He pitched at three levels during the 2017 campaign including 11.2 innings at the AAA level with the Durham Bulls in which he struck out 21 and walked four. He made his MLB debut with the Rays on Tuesday, May 29, 2018 striking out the side on 14 pitches, 10 of them strikes. His strikeout victims included Stephen Piscotty, Matt Joyce and Bruce Maxwell of the Oakland Athletics. Following his debut, he was returned to Durham to make room for Nathan Eovaldi, who was on the 60-day DL and had to be added to the 40-man roster. Quite often in watching young players struggle to climb the ladder to the elusive MLB level we forget that their family members have worked almost as hard as they have. That is, giving countless hours, who knows how much financial support, suffering the heartache of injury and sometimes a mountain too high to climb. Schultz returned to the Rays on July 9 and remained with the team for the duration of the season. When he got that call, his parents and his wife had to scurry to get to Tampa Bay to see him play and enjoy what they had worked so hard for over the years to help make his dream come true for him. Playing minor league baseball is truly a family affair. 
       “That evening was a whirlwind of planning for all of us,” Kathy said. “Jaime had to fly in to Tampa  from Louisville, Kentucky. His wife, Alyssa, had been working at a wedding until after midnight. We flew out Saturday morning. It was worth all the planning, travel ball, practices, games, etcetera, to be there on the first day of his Major League call up.”        “We are so proud of the hard work and the mental toughness that it takes to be a professional ball player at any level,” Kathy said. “The fact that Jaime was able to follow his dream and see      it through to the call up is amazing and a blessing. We often wondered what it would be like when he got the news, but it was better than we could have imagined. I think we all cried a little bit!”
 On the season Jaime Schultz went 2-2 with an ERA of 5.64. He had 35 strikeouts in 30.1 innings of work and held opponents to a .175 batting average against. He did walk 17 batters. He appeared in 22 games with 21 of those appearances in relief. He had two forgettable outings late in September that drove his ERA skyward. So, why did the Dodgers pick up the 5’10”/200-pound right-hander? I expect only the Dodgers front office can answer that question. However, we can speculate and maybe, just maybe, the plate doesn’t move around quite so much for him in 2019. 
  1. Andrew Freidman was in charge with the Rays when Schultz was drafted. He has a long memory and no doubt can remember the reasons why he selected Schultz back in 2013.
  1. He has one option year remaining so can be moved to AAA if need be.
  1. He was acquired with a young right-hander who played at the rookie level last year but also showed strikeout potential.
  1. He has survived TJ surgery with no ill effects
  1. He is still only 27 and we can remember that left-hander Andrew Miller emerged at age-27 after been selected just before Clayton Kershaw in the 2006 June Draft. Schultz is a smaller man than Miller and no doubt is ready now to settle into full time relief in the later innings.
  1. A reasonable comparison for Schultz would be right-hander AJ Ramos of the Marlins who found success in MLB at age-26. At age-26 and 27 Ramos had a 2.00 or less K/BB ratio.
  1. The Scouting Reports:
 SB Nation – Jaime Schultz: AbilitiesŸ    Plus curveŸ    Plus fastball that works in mid-90s, reaches 98-99 miles per hour at timesŸ    Change up that grades as averageŸ    Rated Best Slider in the Tampa Bay Rays system after the 2017 season Rays manager Kevin Cash told reporters that Schultz will likely remain a one-inning guy, and that he could be a major component in the bullpen. “Huge weapon, 95-97 [mph] with a 12-6 curveball,” Cash said. “There aren’t many guys late inning that feature the curveball-fastball approach. You see a lot of fastball-slider, but the 12-6 curveball can really equalize the righty and the lefty.” The Jaime Schultz trade is not meant to be a major trade, at least in my opinion. But it has the potential to become much more than we hoped for. That high strikeout rate is hard to ignore and especially with his success against left-handed hitters as well as right-handers. As Mark mentioned: low risk-high reward. I would go a step further and say, no risk. 

This article has 18 Comments

  1. You are right DC: NO RISK!

    This is a great example of player development at it’s finest. Players come for all directions and paths. Jamie my suddenly get it together… this year, next year…. or never. But you keep developing the guys who try.

    Great write up!

  2. Every Spring, there are some surprises. In 2017, it was CT3, Morrow and Bellinger being ready.

    In 2018, it was Kemp’s conditioning and Venditte.

    Who’s going to surprise us this spring?

    1. He probably has some time to go to get worked in but I am going to say Jesen Therrien before AC does. It is difficult to know how long his rehab time from TJ surgery will take although it was done in September, 2017.
      The goal is to get Jesen ready for the 2019 season. We’re really excited about what he’s capable of doing,” said new Dodgers director of player development Brandon Gomes. “Now it’s just focusing on getting him as healthy and as strong as possible.”
      The Dodgers signed him to a two-year minor league contract through 2019 so they must really be high on him.
      I wouldn’t be surprised if Jaime Schultz is a surprise.

          1. AC – I went back and read that article. It is a good one. I finally found the “Search here” box on the blog. I recalled you had written one.

  3. Nice post DC, seems like a player with potential. The 40 man roster now sits at 38 with 23 pitchers and 15 position players. The biggest hole is at C, and the team is rumored to be waiting on JTR but something tells me there is a 1 year offer to Grandal out there too if he chooses to accept it. I think the 2B spot may be handled internally and they are ok with a Joc/CT3 or Kike platoon in LF. The perceived need of a RH bat could be those two and Freese. I am hoping the prolonged wait means something worth waiting for is in the works.

  4. If the Dodgers add a free agent or trade non-40 players for 40 players, it will be interesting to see who gets pushed off the 40. I think the 40 stands at 38 with the addition of Schultz.

  5. It appears that the market is heating up for both Harper and Machado. Machado could be signed within a week, and it still appears that Philadelphia is the front runner, as long as they are still waiting to spend “stupid” money, and if they are willing to go 10 years, something ChiSox are not willing to do. NYY will probably get a last shot at beating whatever Philly offers, they just do not seem to be motivated to do so.
    It appears to be clear to all parties that the number of 10 year contracts being offered to Harper may revolve around 1 team…Washington Nationals. Boras said he has multiple 10 year contracts, but that could be two from the Nationals who are believed to have increased their initial 10 year $300MM offer. If the Dodgers are not willing to go ten years, Harper is headed back to Washington. That will make it extremely difficult (but certainly not impossible) for them to extend Rendon. Boras will reach out to NYY, but like Machado, they do not seem to be motivated to spend on either player.
    Once those two sign, then the rest of the FA should begin to drop. Pollock, DJLM, and Moustakas are all waiting for Machado and Harper to sign before they do. They are hoping that those that miss out on Machado and Harper will overspend for their services.

    1. Not that I wanted to see Grandal back with the team, but his Brewer signing means another ML catching option is off the table. I hope Friedman is playing poker and ultimately wins this stare down with the Marlins, but having Barnes as our every day starting catcher is really uninspiring.

      I’ve read where some have expressed patience this off season but you can officially put me in concerned mode just short of panic mode. The team right now is not as good as last years by any stretch of the imagination, and while last year’s team was far too reliant on the HR for offense right now they have to make up for 68 HR’s lost by Kemp, Puig and Grandal.

        1. Didn’t see it going that high. I held my breath with the QO. Thought he’d end up signing in the 16/1 range. Good for him. Not sure that doesn’t increase JTR’s cost though. At that price I’m willing to roll with Barnes’s defense and be happy with any offensive improvement as a bonus

  6. So vet FA C’s left are Weiters, Mesoraco, Maldonado and Hundley, unless some want AJ Ellis as backup C and team dad to replace Utley. Or Smith competes with Gale for the backup role in ST-Smith’s defense is ML ready right now IMO. If there is no deal for JTR or another C that is a drop off from last year but there is still $$ to spend on something else. Grandal saves face by exceeding the QO he turned down and the Dodgers get a pick so win win.

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