For more than just this past season, Jonathan Schoop has made noise in the Baltimore Orioles minor league system. He has been a top prospect for a few years and did nothing to signify that wasn’t so this season both in the minors and in five starts at the MLB level. However he is struggling mightily at the start of the Arizona Fall League. This period of struggling is not a bad thing for Schoop though. It is actually a good opportunity.
There is little doubt that Schoop is going to be able to hit in the big leagues when he arrives. What is always unknown is how he or any young prospect will respond to not being able to hit, meaning a period of struggling. Schoop had time at triple-A and MLB this season so he is a viable candidate to make the Orioles roster out of spring training. The way he handles himself during a 1 for 17 slump will provide even more information as to how ready Schoop is.
Can he make the necessary adjustments or will he not respond well? That could go a long ways towards proving if he is ready for the big next step of starting at in MLB. With the highly talked about injury to Manny Machado, you wonder if his chances are greater in the case that things can be shuffled around at the start of the season. It is possible. Whenever he is slated to get his next shot at the bigs, he’ll draw from the current AFL experience and the Orioles will look at his AFL performance. It’s more than just off-season baseball.