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Friday, December 7, 2018

2019 FANTASY BASEBALL HOT STOVE SIGNINGS: JONATHAN SCHOOP LOOKS FOR NEW START IN MINNY

How do you go from being one of the brightest hitting youngsters in baseball one year and then devolve into a journeyman the next?  Just ask new Minnesota Twins second baseman Jonathan Schoop who was forced to settle for just a one-year deal with the team worth $7.5 million on Thursday.  For Schoop, the short-term deal was a direct result of what became a truly rough 2018 campaign where he put up the following numbers in a year split between the Baltimore Orioles and Milwaukee Brewers:

.233
21 HR
61 RBI
61 R
1 SB
.261 BABIP
3.8 BB/9
23.0 K/9

Those numbers above came just a year from when Schoop became an overnight sensation with the Orioles in 2017 when he slammed 32 homers with 105 RBI and 92 runs scored at the age of 25.  As a result of that type of rare power production from a second baseman, Schoop became a popular target in 2018 fantasy baseball drafts.  The end results for those who took such a plunge were not positive however and that has caused his 2019 fantasy baseball stock cost to sink as far as his new contract terms with the Twins. 

So what went wrong last season and can Schoop go back to his 2017 numbers?  First of all, it did fell like we were witnessing a bit of an outlier campaign from Schoop in 2017 as he had only hit 15 homers the year prior and was not looked at initially as a top prospect.  The big problem for Schoop in every season since becoming a pro has been an utter lack of walks and we saw that again a year ago with his pathetic 3.8 BB/9 mark.  With Schoop not drawing walks, it leaves him susceptible to an ugly batting average and even more so due to the fact he has little speed to overcome any BABIP curves.  So in essence it is all about power here as Schoop really needs to hit 25 homers or more to be an everyday fantasy baseball second baseman and this is now far from guaranteed now that he will be calling spacious Target Field home.  While Schoop does have impressive natural power, his negatives in stolen bases and likely batting average don't make him stand out much in terms of his 2019 outlook. 




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