January 16, 2013
Back in July, the Lansing Lugnuts’ welcomed Kipp Schutz, a left fielder from the Baltimore Orioles system, to their team. Recognizing that the 24-year-old Evansville, Indiana native was known for being a good, consistent hitter and a hard worker who stays committed to improving his game, the Blue Jays did not hesitate to add Schutz to their organization.
It was surprising that the Orioles released Schutz as they were consistently high on the outfielder. In fact, the Orioles drafted Schutz twice. The first time was in 2006 where he was selected in the 26th round of the MLB draft out of Harrison High School. Instead of joining the organization in orange immediately, Schutz chose to attend Indiana University, where he earned a degree and displayed his athleticism, playing on both the baseball and basketball teams.
“There is no doubt that attending Indiana was a great experience [as] it prepared me for professional baseball,” Schutz said. “I was fortunate enough to be able to compete as an outfielder on IU’s baseball team and a shooting guard on their basketball team. It was a great experience and Indiana developed me into the person and athlete I am today.”
Baltimore would stay on Schutz, however, and three years later (2009) selected him again. This time, in the 19th round. Schutz eagerly signed this time and shortly after being drafted, began his professional career with the Bluefield Orioles, where he batted .252 with six doubles, one home run and 15 RBIs in 40 games. He would be promoted to the Aberdeen IronBirds’ (A-) in 2010 were he batted .313 with 11 doubles, five triples, four home runs, and 42 RBIs in 68 games. “I was very happy and proud to be drafted by the Orioles twice,” said Schutz. “My time in the Orioles system was a good time, I learned a lot and they treated me well, but I’m now with the Blue Jays and I’m looking forward to my future with them,” he said.
After splitting his 2011 season between the Delmarva Shorebirds'(A) and the Frederick Keys (A+), batting .269 with 33 doubles, two triples, 11 home runs, and 72 RBIs in 125 games, Schutz had an interesting season in 2012. While he started a successful season back with Frederick, the young prospect earned his promotion to Bowie (AA), before he unfortunately found out he was released.
Before he could wonder what his next step was, however, the Blue Jays quickly signed him in July. Becoming a member of the Lansing Lugnuts’ outfield, Schutz finished the season playing in 19 games in Michigan’s capital, recording a .227 average with four doubles, a triple, and six RBIs.
His biggest Lugnut at-bat occured on July 29th when he delivered a three-run double with two outs in the bottom of the 9th inning to defeat the South Bend Silverhawks’ 11-10 in one of the wildest games the Lugnuts’ played all year. Speaking on the atmosphere he witnessed that day and nearly every game he played in Michigan, the outfielder indicated, “Lansing is a great, quiet place to play,” he said. “It has a really nice park with really great fans. I like it a lot!”
In concluding, Schutz positively spoke about the Blue Jays organization and the opportunities they presented him to end the 2012 season: “I like the Blue Jays organization a lot. It is filled with a lot of great players and absolutely amazing teammates. All of the guys are really easy to deal with so my transition with a new team has been an enjoyable one,” he said.
“I have really enjoyed my time with their organization and I’m looking forward to my future with them.”