The World Baseball Classic enables players to not only represent their respective countries, but to showcase their talent and gain exposure in the global limelight.
Baltimore Orioles minor league INF Jonathan Schoop made himself known yesterday when he jacked a home run in the sixth inning against a highly regarded Cuban national team. The three run homer gave the Netherlands a convincing 5-1 lead after only being up one run moments ago.
On the day, Schoop went 3-4 including an RBI double in top of the eighth inning making the score 6-2, and also recorded four RBI.
Prior to the his breakout game, Schoop was just 1-for-9 with his lone hit being a round tripper. At just 21-years of age this is a great sign for things to come as Schoop progresses through the minor leagues, hopefully making his way to the big leagues at some point.
Last season he played for the Bowie Baysox, the Orioles Double-A affiliate, accumulating 14 home runs to go with 56 RBI. One thing he will have to improve upon is his discipline at the plate. The short-stop/second baseman struck out 103 times in 555 plate appearances with equates to striking out once every 5.4 at-bats.
The Curacao native will likely return to the Baysox to start 2013 and in all likelihood he may be promoted later this summer to the Norfolk Tide, the teams Triple-A affiliate. Currently Schoop is rated as the third best prospect in the Orioles organization and 83rd overall in the league. According to ScoutingBook.com, Schoop could see the majors by 2014 if he continues to progress and reach his potential.
Corey Righter is a columnist/writer for RantSports, primarily covering the Baltimore Orioles. You can follow him on Twitter @Mrrighter.