Baltimore Orioles Jonathan Schoop selected for first All-Star Game

NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 09: Jonathan Schoop
NEW YORK, NY - JUNE 09: Jonathan Schoop /

Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop is the team’s lone representative in this year’s All-Star Game, the first of his career.

Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop has been selected to be a reserve in this year’s MLB All-Star game. He’ll be the team’s only representative in this year’s game.

Schoop has been one of the few bright spots on the Baltimore Orioles, currently batting .297/.352/.545 with 16 home runs, 45 runs, and 51 RBIs.

He is currently is tied for the lead in the MLB among second basemen in home runs with Seattle Mariners star Robinson Cano. He’s also third among second basemen in RBIs, fifth among second basemen in batting average, and second among all second basemen in slugging percentage, just behind Washington Nationals star Daniel Murphy.

We wrote recently about how Schoop has improved his game, especially with his plate discipline, and how legitimate it all is.

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And to his credit, Schoop has really improved his game, having nearly doubled his walk rate, lowered his strikeout rate, significantly lowered his chase rate and his whiff rate to career-lows, and lowered his swing rate to a career-low, all of which suggests he’s being much more patient at the plate, and it’s paid off.

Perhaps the most impressive stat of his on the MLB leaderboards is the fact that he’s seventh among all second basemen in OBP, and considering this is a guy who had a walk rate of 2.8% just two years ago, that’s a nice improvement.

As Schoop told Eduardo A. Encina of The Baltimore Sun, he’s very excited to represent the Baltimore Orioles in this year’s All-Star Game. “I’m just mind-[blown] right now,” he said. “I’m excited, happy. My head is spinning everywhere right now. I’ll just go in there and try to enjoy it. But the next seven days we have right now, I’m trying to think of here first and win some games here and then the four days or whatever I’m trying to have fun over there and then come back second half, work harder and trying to win to achieve all of our goals of going to the playoffs.”

His teammate and friend, Manny Machado, whom Schoop came up through the Orioles’ minor league system with, has been impressed with his play as well, telling Encina, “To finally see what he’s turning into as a player, it’s unbelievable to watch — as a hitter, as a second baseman, just his overall play. He’ll take walks when he needs to take walks. His game has gone to another level, and finally other players and teams and coaches are finally seeing it and giving him a chance to represent this organization and represent himself in a good way.”

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While watching the Baltimore Orioles has been difficult for some fans, it shouldn’t take away from the strides Schoop has made this year that’s turned him into an All-Star, hopefully the first of many.