Schoop starting spring hot, but who wins the second base battle?
Jonathan Schoop is one of the Baltimore Orioles top prospects and many would say that he is the Orioles top position prospect. Last season Schoop saw a little bit of action and played very well in only ten games.
Schoop is only 22 but the Orioles have not been shy about bringing players up because of age, just like Manny Machado. Schoop has started off spring training on fire, he has hit for power and average. Schoop hit two home runs in intersquad games.
As of now Ryan Flaherty has the upper hand on the starting second baseman position and behind Flaherty sits Jemile Weeks. Remember the Orioles got Weeks in the Jim Johnson trade. Schoop, Flaherty and Weeks have all looked good this spring and the competition is something the Orioles should be proud of.
Flaherty and Weeks both have the experience factor on Schoop but have neither have really locked up a starting position in the past. Weeks lacks the power that both Flaherty and Schoop have but makes up for it in speed.
Flaherty is the best defender out of the group and Buck Showalter really emphasizes on defensive players. To me Flaherty has shown to be a streaky hitter, which is not a bad thing. Flaherty does have power, hitting ten home runs last season in only 271 at bats.
The Orioles have positions locked for everything but second base, which remains their only question mark. Will Schoop force the Orioles hand into becoming the opening day starter? As of now Flaherty has the position to lose but do not be surprised if something changes between now and opening day. Later on in the season I can definitely see Schoop being part of the Orioles 25-man roster.