Holding steady at the number 3 spot, Jonathan Schoop is easily the best international prospect the Orioles have. (This isn’t saying much because they don’t draft much internationally and when they do they mess things up big-time with South Korea.) Schoop is now 21 years old, still really quite young, and he spent last year in Double-A Bowie. Not many AA players are only 20 years old. He also improves pretty quickly:
The only reason he’s still ranked 3rd overall is because Dylan Bundy and Kevin Gausman happen to exist. That’s really all there is to it.
Baseball America points out in the prospect handbook this year that Schoop “has a bat wrap that causes timing issues and leaves him vulnerable to premium fastballs on the inner half.” In both the posts from 2011 and 2012, I wrote about Schoop having issues with his swing. Apparently these are still somewhat present, although scouts are quite fond of his defensive abilities. Since he’s only 21, plopping him back in Bowie makes sense for now, and considering that he spent some time last year dealing with tendinitis in both knees he’ll be able to give us all a proper show this time around now that he’s healthy.
Oh, and he’s still not done growing yet. He’ll be playing shortstop at Bowie for now, but there’s a good chance that he could end up on third base or even as a corner outfielder depending on how his body develops. One of the most difficult parts of developing young players is helping them adapt to new positions as their bodies change, and this is a definite possibility with Schoop.
Schoop is now on the Orioles’ 40-man roster, so there’s a good chance that fans will spot him at Camden Yards at some point this September if he’s needed. Keep your eyes open, everyone!
He’ll look something like this:
And to watch his development from 2010 through 2012, this video’s got you covered: