Baltimore Orioles infielder Jonathan Schoop, one of the organization’s top prospects, had a productive year in 2013. The Orioles are hoping that his solid performance is a sign of good things to come. In fact, there is a good chance Schoop will be competing for a starting job at second base in 2014.
The 21-year-old batted .256 with nine home runs, 34 RBI, 11 doubles and a .301 on-base percentage in 270 at-bats in Triple-A. His decent numbers were enough for Baltimore to make him a September call-up, which allowed him to make his MLB debut. In the last five games of the season, Schoop posted a .286 batting average, one home run and one RBI in 14 at-bats.
The Orioles have several talented prospects that are on the verge on breaking into the big leagues. With that being said, Schoop is the only one that is set to make a permanent jump to the majors next season. Obviously, he will have to compete for a spot on the active roster in Spring Training but all signs point to him making the squad.
At this point, it is just a matter of time before Schoop is thrust into the starting role. Starting second baseman Brian Roberts is a free agent, and although Baltimore is seriously considering re-signing him to a one-year deal, the job will be Schoop’s in no time. It certainly would be wise for the organization to sign Roberts to have the veteran presence. Not to mention, there is the possibility that Schoop will not pan out right away. However, do not be surprised if the youngster becomes the starter in the spring.
Schoop has unique power for an infielder and consistently gets on base. There is no question he would be a legitimate asset at the plate. Meanwhile, he has proven to be a terrific defensive infielder at second base.