Baltimore Orioles: A Jonathan Schoop extension is a must this offseason

BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 21: Jonathan Schoop
BALTIMORE, MD - JULY 21: Jonathan Schoop /

Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop is in the midst of a career-best season, and first All-Star appearance and the Orioles need to sign him long-term now before it’s too late.

In retrospect, The 2017 Baltimore Orioles represent a season of tremendous under performance for players like Manny Machado, Chris Davis, Kevin Gausman, and Chris Tillman. The team has had multiple games where pitching and hitting both struggles.

Many of these blowouts contribute to the -69 run differential.  Additionally, leading the American League in team ERA is not fun. Despite all these downturns, the team sits 3.5 games back of the wild card and six games back of the division.

How can that be? In the midst of all the chaos, Jonathan Schoop rises as the team’s saviors and hope for the future.

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The Growth of Jonathan Schoop

The Baltimore Orioles lone All-Star has been a tremendous force for the team. Currently, he is batting .304 with 21 home runs and 71 RBI’s which is third in the American League. Every year as a big league player he has shown improvement at the plate.

The greatest improvement is seen in his on base percentage. Schoop’s OBP has increased from .296 in 2016 to .349 in 2017 as a result of increased ability to recognize pitches and take more walks. He is becoming more of a disciplined hitter before our eyes.

Along with his improved batting eye, Schoop harnesses one of the strongest infield arms. It is this ability that allows him to make strong throws to first base, generating many double plays. Schoop was named American League Player of the Week slashing a .433 batting average with three home runs and 16 RBI’s.

For a team that does not invest much in the international market, Schoop is a $90,000 investment. Bobby Dickerson, the Orioles third base coach, has seen Schoop’s tremendous work ethic since he was signed as a teenager.

After Jonathan had received news regarding his selection to the All-Star game, Dickerson was emotional and filled with tears of joy in describing how he felt about the 25-year-old. Schoop has come a long way and is the epitome of Baltimore grit.

Long-term deal in the works?

Along with his play at the plate, he carries with his great enthusiasm and appreciation for the game, as seen in his interviews.  As many contracts are up in 2018, the window may be closing.  The organization can still plan for what is ahead and keep valuable pieces.

Schoop is on pace for 40+ doubles, 30+ home runs, and 100+ RBI season, all at the age of 25. Before the prices get too high, extending Schoop, this off-season would be a smart investment.

Baseball media has been familiar with the names of Adam Jones, Machado, and Davis, but Schoop emerges as the Orioles most valuable player right now and moving forward.