I’ve bumped this post to the front page in order to ensure everyone is aware of the most detailed Jonathan Schoop scouting information on the web.
The Orioles are not big players on the international market, so when an international prospect emerges and flashes some potential, it’s a big deal. Obviously, Schoop still has a long way to go but like most international SS prospects, there is a lot of potential, and he’s relatively advanced for his age.
Swing & Offense
Hitting from the right-side, Schoop employs an upright, balanced stance. He has quick hands that work well in connection with his shoulders, rotating slightly ahead of his shoulders up until the point of contact. Schoop’s head tends to move around too much throughout his swing, and could benefit from bending his knees and widening his feet in his stance so his head stays still. Right now, with his stride — which is a simple pick-up and set-down, his head is dropping to adjust to pitches low in the zone. Schoop also tends to overextend his arms a little too early before the point of contact. He does a good job of staying well-balanced throughout his swing, and keeps his hands compact until just slightly before he makes contact — at which point he extends his arms a little early. Schoop’s swing plane is very level, however.
He has above-average raw power, but until he adds more loft and tilt to his swing, along with widening his stance, he’s not going to consistently drive the ball like he should be doing. He also has a tendency to rely on his quick hands and strong wrists to be the source of his power instead of his core and hips, which don’t rotate quick enough to catch up to quality fastballs. His bat speed is slightly above-average, but until he uses his hips more, he’s going to have problems making consistent contact. In short, Schoop has the raw hitting tools to become a good hitter. He just needs some fine-tuning to let his ability play up.
Schoop has more than enough arm for the left side of the infield, and is a relatively safe bet to stick at either shortstop or third base, depending on how he fills-out and where his range ends up. He can play shortstop fairly well, though he may be moved to third if he loses range as he matures.
Right now, Schoop relies on arm strength to carry himself on defense. He rushes and overthrows on close plays, causing the errors to pile up. He demonstrates good instincts in the field, but relies on that more than taking clean routes to the ball and making good pivots or throws. His footwork needs work, especially on double plays, which is another reason third base suits him better.
Although it’s a small sample size, Schoop has been impressive through 7 GCL games. He’s hit 2 home runs after failing to knock one out of the park last season in the DSL. Schoop grew up playing baseball with Rangers top SS prospect Jurickson Profar. While Schoop isn’t quite the prospect that Profar is, his potential is exciting and someone you need to keep an eye on.
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