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  • Nov

    2013 Number five prospect: Jonathan Schoop

    Written by Lee Tackett and Tony Pente

    #5  - Jonathan Schoop - INF
    Ht Wt  Bats Throws Born Draft
    6-1 210 R R  10/16/91 NDFA '08

    Scouting Grades - Definitions

    Current 4 Most Likely 5 Ceiling 6
    Major League Target Date


    2013 Stats - Full stats

    3Tm 336 14 0 14 52 1 3 20 62 .278 .330 .460 .790 16.8 5.4

    Bio: Schoop got off to a slow start in 2013 before missing most of May and all of June with a back injury. Upon return, he feasted on low minors pitching during his rehab assignment, treaded water in Norfolk, then provided the Orioles with some excitement as a September call up when he hit a long home run to center field in his first major league game. The Curacao native signed in 2008 and has been on the team’s prospect radar for some time, but has been lapped by the man deemed to be his double play counterpart, Manny Machado. Many of Schoop’s issues that were attributed to age, like plate discipline and lapses in defense, have persisted as he’s become older, calling to question if he will be able to live up to his considerable billing.

    Hitting/Running: Schoop now has experience hitting at all levels, including the WBC, and a few things stand out. His hands are tremendously quick and it translates into plus power when he can get extension through the ball. Schoop hits the ball to all field, with most of his power coming to left. Dating back to 2012, Schoop struck out over twice as many times as he walked. Unfortunately, that trend continued during his protracted 2013. Excluding his big league time and rehab stints, Schoop struck out in 19 % of his plate appearances with just a 4.23 K-BB ratio. Schoop has what is characterized as a one-path swing who struggles making adjustments. He can also be a guess hitter at times. Due to his injury this year, it is likely that the organization was unable to tinker much with his hitting mechanics to make things more stable. However, entering 2013, Schoop was coming off back-to-back 500 plus plate appearance seasons so it is possible that this is who he is as a hitter. Schoop is an average runner who is not a stolen base threat.

    Fielding/Intangibles: According to his listed weights, Schoop put on twenty pounds between 2012 and 2013 and his range has suffered a bit as a result. The days of Schoop as a full time shortstop are likely over, but he still should have the athleticism to play second or third. He has a plus arm that is an asset at both second and third and gives the team an option to use him as a utility man if the need arises. Schoop’s 2013 should not take away from the fact that he’s a tireless worker and a fiercely competitive player on the field.

    Conclusion: 2013 was a lost year for Schoop due to his back injury and it seems some of his prospect shine has faded. While Schoop was considered slightly behind Machado in 2011, he is now clearly far behind. There are real questions about where Schoop will fit defensively, be it at second where his range will likely be an issues, or third where he may not provide enough power offensively. Fortunately for Schoop, he is still just 22 and there aren’t many other hitting prospects beating down the door to take his spot. Machado’s injury may open up an opportunity for Schoop to begin 2014 on the major league roster, but a more likely scenario would be Schoop going to Norfolk, working on cutting down his strikeouts, and proving his back is fully healed. Schoop still has a ceiling of a Jeff Kent-like second baseman, but he could also end up a super utility guy. He will go as far as his bat takes him.

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