First off, his name is Jonathan Schoop as in ‘scope,’ not as in, ‘Baby, take a ride in my coupe, you make me wanna Shoop.’ Salt and Pepa are, indeed here, and they are, indeed, in effect, but only metaphorically. I want to make sure that is clear, in case you are chatting with your friends about Schoop. There is nothing worse than invoking Salt and/or Pepa amongst friends only to find out hours, days or even weeks later that you were misspeaking. Also, you may be tempted to draft Bartolo Colon with Schoop just so you can name your fantasy team, The Colonschoopy. You’re thinking of a Colin-Oz-Co-Pee, and, instead, you’ve just named your team Cologne-Scopey. So, unless you’re a guido who gurgles with Drakkar, Cologne-Scopey doesn’t make any sense. Please be careful. Speaking of guidos, remember The Jersey Shore people? I sure hope they bought everything outright and don’t have huge car payments or mortgages. Pauly D is the only one with a job, as he’s spinning records. Luckily, he won’t have to change his resume dramatically when he becomes a sign spinner. Anyway, what can we expect from Jonathan Schoop for 2015 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
With sleepers, I look for guaranteed playing time, solid lineup placement and upside. Well, as Meatloaf would say, two out of three ain’t bad. I have no idea where Schoop is going to bat. He’ll likely begin the year in the nine hole in the lineup. Of course, the great thing about lineup position is it’s a fluid thing, and if a sleeper breaks out as I hope, they’ll move up in the order. So, right now, Schoop is looking at roughly 60 to 70 runs and RBIs, which isn’t good, but that could change. His playing time should be fine. Who else are the Orioles going to play, Jimmy Paredes? I love a Paredes as much as Ethel Merman, but he’s not stealing significant playing time from Schoop. Or maybe you think Ryan Flaherty will steal time. To that, I say bleh like when Flaherty dressed up as Count Floyd for Halloween. That leaves us with the third integer in the sleeper equation: upside. Last year, Schoop hit 16 homers with ten of those coming in the 2nd half of the year. Ten homers in 183 at-bats, for those of you that like a bit more specificity. Little known fact: 1200 pounds is the capital of both Specificity and Capacity. A 2nd baseman that can hit 4 homers per month or 24 homers on the year is a thing of beauty during this period of offensive recession. Of course, I don’t think 24 homers from Schoop is completely plausible. He had a 13.1% HR/FB last year, and that is doable. He also had a 36.9% fly ball rate, which also seems repeatable. If those percentages stay flat, he gets to 19 homers with a full year of games (last year he only played in 137 games). The big question mark for him is his batting average. Last year, he hit .209 and only .191 in the 2nd half (when the power came on). A .209 average from a 19-homer 2nd baseman is yawnstipating at best, and unrosterable at worst. He needs to hit .30 points higher, at least. I’ll remove the obvious that if he hit 15 more hits last year, he would’ve hit .30 points higher. I also won’t say (while saying) that is about one extra hit per week. I also won’t say while saying that average is fickle. What I will say while saying is Schoop has hit for a terrible average in the minors before (.177 in Rookie Ball) and come back to turn that around as he grew comfortable (.256 in Triple-A). Schoop will never hit for a .300 average, but I don’t see why he can’t hit for .240-.250. So, for 2015, I’ll give him the projections of 61/19/64/.242/4 with a chance for more. Mm-mm, for the smell of it, just for the yell of it, you make me wanna Schoop. Dah!