30 Prospects In 30 Days: Jonathan Schoop — 2B/3B — Baltimore Orioles
Jonathan Schoop is a 6’1”, 195 pound infield prospect from the island of Curacao. The 21-year-old was signed by the Orioles in 2008 as an undrafted free-agent and was added to the Orioles 40-man roster in 2012. Currently, Schoop is listed at #50 on Keith Law’s top 100 prospects for 2013 and #80 on the Baseball Prospectus top 100, but fails to appear on Jonathan Mayo’s (MLB) or Baseball America’s lists.
Baseball America contends that Schoop is “an aggressive hitter that has above-average raw power” and has “below-average speed but soft hands to pair with a plus-arm.” Schoop is just 21, so one would imagine he’s still growing into his frame, which could mean more power down the road.
Schoop is a natural shortstop, but when it was clear Manny Machado would be holding down that position on the farm, the Orioles slotted him in at third and second base — making for an intriguing double-play duo. And now, with the left-side of the Orioles’ infield blocked by the aforementioned Machado and J.J. Hardy — who is signed through 2014 — Schoop’s ability to land on the 25-man could depend on Brian Roberts health and performance.
In 2011, Schoop triple slashed .290/.349/.432 with 13 homers, 71 RBI and 12 stolen bases in 128 games between Delmarva (A-) and Frederick (A+). And for his efforts, the Orioles named him the Brooks Robinson Award winner, as the organization’s Minor League player of the year.
He struggled a bit in his transition to Double-A in twenty-twelve, triple slashing .245/.324/.386 with 14 homers, 56 RBI and five stolen bases in 124 games. However, Schoop managed to smack 24 two-baggers against tougher pitching in the Eastern League — and if he continues to grow into his frame like previously noted, those doubles could turn into home runs in the near future.
The Willemstad native made waves in the media recently for his contributions to the Dutch national team in the World Baseball Classic. In the Netherlands first contest against group favorite Cuba, Schoop went 3-for-6 with a single, a double, a home run and four RBI in the 6-2 upset victory. In addition to the bat, Schoop dazzled with the leather — contributing to four-of-the-five double plays executed by the Netherlands — three of which that were partnered with Braves’ talented shortstop, Andrelton Simmons.
For 2013, Schoop will likely head back to Double-A to continue his development, but an assignment to Triple-A isn’t out of the question. He could be a September call-up candidate for the O’s — or sooner if Roberts flops — so he makes for a decent target in deep keeper, dynasty or Ottoneu leagues.