jonathan schoop

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