AL East Positional Rankings: Baltimore Orioles’ Jonathan Schoop Joins Long List of All-Star Second Basemen

ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 30: Jonathan Schoop
ST. PETERSBURG, FL - SEPTEMBER 30: Jonathan Schoop /
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Jonathan Schoop
BALTIMORE, MD – AUGUST 30: Jonathan Schoop /

1. Baltimore Orioles

Second baseman: Jonathan Schoop

The Baltimore Orioles played 162 games in 2017, and Jonathan Schoop started 158 of them for the Baltimore Orioles at second base.

But, he isn’t getting first on these rankings based on his ability to stay healthy.

Schoop hit .293/.338/.503 with 32 home runs, 35 doubles, 105 runs batted in, and 92 runs scored. It indeed was an excellent offensive year for the second baseman. I mentioned in my preseason rankings that the Orioles would like him to strike out less and be more patient. While he struck out 142 times, most in his career, he also was more selective at the plate, helping him to his .293 batting average.

Schoop had an offensive WAR of 4.9 and a defensive WAR of 0.7, and that defensive number probably doesn’t take his real value to the team into account.

There is no way to measure arm strength, but Schoop has a cannon for an arm. He likely has one of the best arms among second basemen in the game.

He often gets knocked on his range, but the sabermetrics reflect that his range was well above league average. He did make 15 errors for a fielding percentage of .981. But, he also turned 132 double plays from the position.

Schoop ranked near the top of many AL statistical categories in 2017 including eighth in WAR, sixth in hits, RBIs and total bases, ninth in doubles. In addition, Schoop played the most games defensively at second base, along with the most putouts and assists among second basemen.

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Not to mention, Schoop had the second-most errors at the position in the AL, but the Baltimore Orioles will take the bad with all the good that comes defensively.

As for next year, Schoop will be under contract for a few more years, although it would be smart for the Baltimore Orioles to give him a long extension now.