*pushes aside the Lost Ark, pulls out a blankie labeled Shroud of Turin, tosses it aside, unearths a stack of old sleeper posts, flips through them, comes across one, blows dust off, sees the name Jedd and quickly moves on, blows dust off next one, smiles then sneezes* Ugh, stupid allergies. Luckily, I’m not allergic to calling Jonathan Schoop a sleeper, huh? Right now, the Orioles lineup is listed from 1-9 as Hyun-soo Kim, Machado, Jones, Wieters, Trumbo, Schoop, Paredes, Hardy then Hoes. Hardy Hoes sounds like what a jolly pimp says. “Hardy Hoes to everyone!” But I wouldn’t be cheery O’s. Let’s assume the O’s re-sign Chris Davis. That still leaves them a little short of a major league lineup. What am I getting out, you ask. Schoop won’t be batting lower than the six hole for the majority of the 2016 season as he comes into his own like the star of his own Lifetime movie. Last year, he hit 15 HRs and .279 in 86 games after losing around two months to an injury. Last year, I called him a sleeper as a guy that was bound to hit north of 20 HRs. I see no reason that wouldn’t have happened if he stayed healthy. Now that he is healthy, well…Anyway, what can we expect for Jonathan Schoop for 2016 fantasy baseball and what makes him a sleeper?
When Schoop was coming up in the Orioles system, there was only one guy in front of him in talent, Machado. In Schoop’s 15 homers last year, only one was considered lucky. 13 of his 15 homers would get out of at least 25 of 30 parks. His Average True Distance per home run was 407.3 feet. Edwin Encarnacion, who had more No Doubt home runs than anyone in the majors, averaged “only” 406.9 feet. Nelson Cruz averaged 405.4. Ryan Braun averaged 405.2 Chris Davis averaged 404.5. In other words, Schoop doesn’t hit balls into the seats, he be hurting fans in the bleacher seats who are dipping their nachos. “Hey, these seats suck, we’ll never catch a home run ball” Bam! That fan just got hit by a Schoop homer. Schoop mollywhops like a slugger. Only difference here is, he’s a 2nd baseman. The next best 2nd baseman for True Distance on their home runs was Robinson Cano at 402.4. To put this in further context, Brian Dozier, who hit 28 homers, averaged 384.1 feet. (Which is nearly as many feet as Yoenis “The Human” Cespedes.) I watched a few home runs by Schoop where the ball appeared to be rising still after it passed the fence. “Hey, what’s the big idea!” That’s gravity getting annoyed. He’s not Giancarlo at 2nd base, but if he led the league in homers for 2nd basemen next year it wouldn’t surprise me. Actually, I’m kinda expecting it. As for the rest of his game, well, there’s not a ton there. As mentioned, he could hit in a favorable spot in the order for counting stats. He might chip in two to four steals. He could hit .250 if the ball bounces the right way for him. The only thing that’s hard to say with his average is where his BABIP fall. He hits the ball so hard that a .330 BABIP wouldn’t be out of the question, but under .300 with all of his fly balls seems more likely. For 2016, I’ll give him the projections of 73/26/85/.245/3 and the 2nd Oriole prospect in as many years to break out.