I believe that children are our future and 22-year-old Jonathan Schoop is a shining example of my confidence in the Orioles youth. Schoop has grabbed headlines this Spring for his stellar Grapefruit League performance, leaving many wondering why Buck Showalter wouldn’t hand him the keys to the Opening Day spot at second base.
As of Monday morning, the Orioles prospect is slashing .400/.424/.633. Let’s check up on his competition, shall we?
So the job is Schoop’s right? It has to be. How can you possibly argue with a guy that hits .400?!?! You’d have to be crazy.
Well, here’s my argument. Below is table of each of Schoop’s plate appearances this spring. I’ve bolded each hit and written down every pitcher he’s faced. The gentlemen in red have thrown at least one pitch in the Major Leagues, those lads in blue have not.
|Friday Feb. 28 @TB||Top 9||Strikeout swinging||C.J. Riefenhauser|
|Saturday Mar. 1 vs. TOR||Bottom 8||Single||Deck McGuire|
|Sunday Mar. 2 @BOS||Top 7||Strikeout swinging||Noe Ramirez|
|Sunday Mar. 2 @BOS||Top 9||2-run double||Jeremy Kehrt|
|Monday Mar. 3 vs. MIN||Bottom 7||Double||Sean Gilmartin|
|Monday Mar. 3 vs. MIN||Bottom 9||Single||Logan Darnell|
|Tuesday Mar. 4 @NYY||Top 7||Strikeout swinging||Chase Whitley|
|Tuesday Mar. 4 @NYY||Top 9||Strikeout swinging||Preston Claiborne|
|Friday Mar. 7 vs. PHI||Bottom 8||Home run||Cesar Jimenez|
|Saturday Mar. 8 vs. BOS||Bottom 2||Strikeout swinging||Henry Owens|
|Saturday Mar. 8 vs. BOS||Bottom 4||Fly out||Matty Ott|
|Saturday Mar. 8 vs. BOS||Bottom 6||Single||Alex Wilson|
|Sunday Mar. 9 vs. PIT||Bottom 2||Single||Edinson Volquez|
|Sunday Mar. 9 vs. PIT||Bottom 4||Single||Brandon Cumpton|
|Sunday Mar. 9 vs. PIT||Bottom 5||Pop out||Brandon Cumpton|
|Monday Mar. 10 @PIT||Top 7||RBI double||Duke Welker|
|Monday Mar. 10 @PIT||Top 8||Fly out||Andy Oliver|
|Tuesday Mar. 11 vs. BOS||Bottom 8||Strikeout swinging||Noe Ramirez|
|Thursday Mar. 13 @NYY||Top 5||Strikeout swinging||Bruce Billings|
|Thursday Mar. 13 @NYY||Top 7||Ground out||Chris Leroux|
|Friday Mar. 14 @MIN||Top 2||Single||Mike Pelfrey|
|Friday Mar. 14 @MIN||Top 4||Double||Mike Pelfrey|
|Friday Mar. 14 @MIN||Top 6||Strikeout swinging||Glen Perkins|
|Friday Mar. 14 @MIN||Top 9||Fly out||Lester Oliveros|
|Saturday Mar. 15 vs. NYY||Bottom 3||Strikeout swinging||Vidal Nuno|
|Saturday Mar. 15 vs. NYY||Bottom 5||Fielder’s choice, 5-4||Danny Burawa|
|Saturday Mar. 15 vs. NYY||Bottom 7||Sacrifice fly||Mark Montgomery|
|Sunday Mar. 16 @TOR||Top 1||Line out||Todd Redmond|
|Sunday Mar. 16 @TOR||Top 3||Ground out||Todd Redmond|
|Sunday Mar. 16 @TOR||Top 5||Ground out||Todd Redmond|
|Sunday Mar. 16 @TOR||Top 7||Single||Aaron Sanchez|
Yeah, that’s a lot of data. You probably skimmed through it so I’ll recapitulate it below.
While seven of Schoop’s 12 hits have come against pitchers with Major League experience, it isn’t exactly an inspiring group of arms.
- Cesar Jimenez threw just 17 innings with the Phillies last season, walking 5.3 per nine.
- Alex Wilson pitched a 4.88 ERA over 27.2 innings with the Red Sox last season, allowing almost two base runners per inning.
- Edinson Volquez is a nine-year veteran with a 4.75 ERA and 8.8 H/9.
- Duke Welker has 1.1 innings of pro ball under belt.
- Mike Pelfrey pitched to a 5.19 ERA over 152.2 innings with the Twins last season.
- Brandon Cumpton, however, was effective over his five starts (six games) with the Pirates last season (30.2 IP, 2.05 ERA, 1.011 WHIP).
It’s great to see Jonathan Schoop putting up impressive numbers at the plate. I’m excited about his development and hope it translates to the big leagues, but it’s important to remember that he’s done this over just 30 at-bats and has seen a lot of below average pitching. In a perfect world, the best move for the Orioles is to see what he does to start the season at Triple-A.
If he hits International League pitching like he’s hit Grapefruit League pitching, then bring him up.
Image Credit: Keith Allison