Throughout the season, Orioles Nation will highlight prospects as we see them play or are given reports by Scouts and people within the baseball industry. Our staff will have eyes on the Orioles’ prospects at all times, and you can find the latest updates for them in the Prospect Watch.
Jonathan Schoop – 2B/SS/3B
The Curacao native was largely overshadowed by Manny Machado when both played up the middle together in the minors. Once Machado graduated, Schoop became the top positional player on the Orioles’ farm. If there is a player that has been rushed through the minors, it is definitely Schoop. While the numbers have not always been terrific, the international talent still shows a ton to be excited about in the future. Remember that Schoop has been one of the younger players at every stop he has made.
Below is a traditional scouting report on Schoop using the 20-80 scouting scale:
Body: Big frame, sturdy bottom half, wiry top half. Room for muscle.
Hit: 50; Quick hands and wrists, ability to barrel the ball. Will chase secondary pitches outside zone and make a lot of weak contact. Swing becomes elongated when he starts chasing. Lack of discipline is currently biggest issue, although the contact ability is evident. Demolishes fastballs at any level.
Power: 60; Plus power. Excellent sound off the bat, with plus bat speed. Bottom half of body generates legitimate force. Puts on batting practice clinics.
Glove: 50; Glove is better than some credit. Footwork is choppy and could be hurt by increased weight and muscle gain. Range is currently average at second, but displays good hands and improving instincts. Looks good on double-plays, showing that the footwork has ability of improving up the middle.
Arm: 60; Plus arm capable of producing quality throws from practically anywhere on the diamond, primarily second, shortstop, third base and right field.
Speed: 45; Athletic, but not groundbreaking speed or agility. Growth into frame will probably hinder this further.
Makeup: 60; Quick and willing learner. Learned English in two years (16-18). Fun player, smile on his face every day.
OFP: 60; first division player
Realistic Role: 50, second division player
Most importantly, Schoop needs time and repetition at AAA Norfolk before he sets foot at the MLB level. For a player that was rushed, he missed valuable time in 2013 due to his injury. This time was extremely important as he learned how to deal with high-end secondary pitches and furthered his development. Schoop has some sexy tools and a ton of potential, but they are still flashes and not consistent enough to provide any value in the bigs. We might see Schoop at some point with the Orioles, but it should not be at the beginning of the season. The worst thing you can do to a young player is rush them to the majors before they are ready. The Orioles have plenty of time with Schoop. Let him use some of that time at AAA. Ryan Flaherty and Jemile Weeks are probably better at this stage.