Jonathan Schoop managed 15 HR last year in only 86 games. Prorated for 150 games, that comes out a strong 26 HRs. Since 2010, there have only been 12 2B who have eclipsed 25 HRs and only two since 2013 (Dozier with 28 last year and Cano with 27 in 2013). It is a position that is not known for its power and Schoop could quickly find himself as the top power hitting 2B.
Just how legit was his 26 HR pace? His HR/FB bumped up from 13.1% to 17.4%. This is not altogether unsurprising given that his average FB distance went from 291.17 to 306.45 (8th highest in all of baseball). Average flyball distance has had a 0.644 year to year correlation using the data found on baseballheatmaps from 2007 to 2014. That is a borderline strong relationship and suggests that his increase might be repeatable. If he maintains those levels, Schoop could get into the high 20s but I’m a little more pessimistic than that. I think he breaks 20 but I’m not sure if he can get past 25. Either way, this is likely one of the top two or three sources for HRs at the 2B position.
Schoop has always been a near zero at both SB and AVG. SB is likely to continue as his maximum over any professional year is 12 in 2011 between single A and high A. In 228 MLB games he has four total steals on four attempts. The success rate is nice, but this is not a guy we should ever expect to provide value in steals. Batting average is the other area in which Schoop has always struggled. Last year Schoop hit .279 in a pretty small sample size. He’s probably somewhere in between the .209 in 2014 and the .279 in 2015. He did raise his LD% up to 19.3 but that’s still not great. Some of the .279 was bolstered by a .329 BABIP. That BABIP might be sustainable, but only if he can continue to hit line drives.
What might be an issue is counting stats for Schoop. Hitting near the bottom of the order will limit his run opportunities. I would hope he can get into the 60s but I’m not confident in that. RBI might be an issue as well. Schoop figures to bat 7th unless something changes. That puts him directly behind Adam Jones, Matt Wieters and Mark Trumbo in all likelihood. The bad news is that the highest career OBP out of any of those guys is Wieters with an average .320.
(Stats from FanGraphs)
Batting behind three guys who are mediocre at best at getting on base will limit some of his RBI chances. Unfortunately Schoop doesn’t get on base enough himself (career .270) to warrant any consideration for the 2nd spot in the order.
The HRs are really all that jumps off the page for Schoop but if he is average in R, RBI and BA and puts up an elite HR number, he could be a valuable 2B. The highest I have seen him ranked is in the 20s for 2B and if he can provide 20+ HRs he figures to eclipse that pretty easily. Schoop is a guy I’d target in a dynasty as his asking price shouldn’t be that high. If he continues to develop power and can keep his BA above .250 he’s a huge asset at 2B.
Steamer is projecting Schoop for 20 HR, 54 R, 61 RBI, 3 SB, a .249 AVG and a .288 OBP. I’ll give Schoop 23 HR, 58 R, 64 RBI, 5 SB, a .257 AVG and a .298 OBP.