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?
Ryan Flaherty: .290/.361/.484 — meh.
Jemile Weeks: .148/.314/.185 — boo.
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
Great Breakdown. I agree he is not quite ready for the bigs yet, but no question he is the future.
All stats aside, there are moments where he looks lost at the plate. There is a noticeable difference between Flaherty and Schoop at the plate.
The only question that comes into play is what happens if machado isn’t ready. Flaherty plays 3rd and then do they settle for Weeks or Casilla if he can get healthy?
Interesting stuff. Another reason he needs so AB’s in the minors. I haven’t seen too many of his at-bats on TV, but one walk among those plate appearances above.
Not that I have high hopes for him, but the Orioles also have to hope that Weeks is just off to a slow spring start. This guy is going to get his chances to prove he’s the Jemile of 2011 and not of 2012-13. Otherwise the Jim Johnson trade will come off as almost a complete waste (player wise).
Player wise yeah, I agree. But freeing up that payroll is a big reason they were able to go out and get Ubaldo and Nelson Cruz. Even if Weeks starts in the minors, I still think trading Johnson as opposed to non-tendering him was a good move.
Oh yeah. Saving that money was huge. I guess saying “complete waste” was too harsh. But it would be nice to see Weeks contribute and maybe get flipped for something else later on.
Choop is the guy for the here and now. Flaherty is a lifetime .221 hitter. There are plnty of guys with less ABs in the minors. That has no bearing on whether or not he is ready for the major leagues. Flaherty has had his chance and he AIN’T cutting it. Why give Flaherty the job? Why not Casillia?
Casilla has been hurt.
Flaherty has done zero to be given the job. Needing so many minor league ABs is over rated. I don’t normally look up stats, too many other things to do. Schoop already has more minor league ABs than Chris Davis or Adam Jones had. He also has about the same number as Flaherty had so needing more time in the minors makes no sense. What Schoop needs is a chance to play in the majors like Flaherty has had, maybe Schoop can he better than .221.
I think many of us thought that Machado may have been brought up too soon, too, but it has worked out pretty nicely. Put the best team on the field. If Schoop is the best option, put him out there.
That’s kind of been my feeling too. If he’s your (meaning Buck) best option heading North, then go with it. I think the defense is more what makes me wonder right now.
The difference was that Machado was called up to serve as a defensive replacement at third. Schoop’s biggest flaw is his defense.
Flaws or not, Johnny Schoop will be a great addition to this team. Hell, if Jones would not swing at balls in the dirt, he would hit .310. If Wieters could hit my weight, he would be a perrenial All Star. If I could get my WWE report on BSR….we all have flaws.
My biggest flaw is getting my nipples twisted by a 7ft tall guy while driving at 75 mph, screaming , “ome in Tokyo, Come in Tokyo. With a guy in the back with a shit eating grin on his face, :Get the VHF and the UFH!!!”
Yeah, that’s pretty much how I fell….
With the offense that the 14 Birds can put on the filed, I think it’s time to insert John Schoop as Tokyo calls him into the line up. Keep Ryan around as the super sub.
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