Jonathan Schoop is a 22-year-old second baseman in the Baltimore Orioles organization. He has only five big league games under his belt, but that’s all the time he needed to make a big first impression.
Can your second baseman do that?
As for whether or not Schoop can crack Baltimore’s starting lineup…it’s complicated. There are service time considerations, not to mention the fact that the Orioles have other players in the mix. When asked about Schoop’s chances to be an everyday player after a hot start this spring, manager Buck Showalter said a lot of words yet managed to say nothing at all. From Peter Schmuck of the Baltimore Sun:
I would say that he’s competing for the job and there’s nobody ahead of him or behind for the job. It’s way too early. … He’s as much in the mix as he was the day he got here. In my mind, I can tell you for sure, there’s nothing in stone about where he’s going to start the year – down or up.”
Guys like Schoop are worth monitoring because of the immediate impact that young position players have had across baseball in recent seasons. The Orioles know that firsthand, of course, so they might consider making a bold decision with Schoop as they navigate the nightmare that is the American League East.