While the Baltimore Orioles have received a lot of great performances so far this spring, Jonathan Schoop has been one of the most impressive. Schoop has recorded eight hits in 14 at-bats, and he also has hit a home run and four RBIs. While it is still very early, his strong performance puts him the mix for the Orioles for the Orioles second base battle. Schoop is an extremely talented prospect, and he should be starting for the Orioles in 2014.
The Orioles signed Schoop as an international free agent in 2008, and he has quickly worked his way to the majors. His best season came in 2011 when he hit .290 with 13 home runs, 71 RBIs and stole 12 bases in 128 games. After the 2011 season, Baseball America rated Schoop as the 82nd-best prospect in baseball.
While Schoop has had some nice statistical seasons, his status as a top prospect isn’t based solely on numbers. Scouts have always been raving about Schoop’s potential, and he has solid skills across the board. He has excellent bat speed, and he has average to above-average power potential at 6-foot-2, 210 pounds. He is also a solid s defender at either second or third base, and has a strong throwing arm.
With the Orioles’ second base position being wide open, Schoop should win the job if he continues to produce. Ryan Flaherty is unproven, and Schoop may have the highest upside of the O’s current group of potential second basemen. Since Schoop is very talented and the Orioles’ other choices are weak, he is clearly their best option.