It's time for Jonathan Schoop to start receiving some AL Most Valuable Player buzz - BaltimoreBaseball.com
Dan Connolly

It’s time for Jonathan Schoop to start receiving some AL Most Valuable Player buzz

Jonathan Schoop
Photo credit: Evan Habeeb/USA Today Sports

Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop came up huge again Friday in the Orioles’ 1-0, 13-inning victory over the Toronto Blue Jays.

His walkoff RBI double that scored Manny Machado provided the game’s only offense. And, in the ninth inning, his ice-water-vein decision to throw a rocket home on a sharp grounder prevented the speedy Kevin Pillar from scoring, extending the game until he could win it with his bat.

Schoop’s game-winner represented his 101st RBI of the season, putting him just two behind his buddy Nelson Cruz for the American League lead. And his .307 average is fourth in the AL among qualifiers.

So, with the Orioles just 1 ½ games out of the AL Wild Card race, is it time for Schoop’s candidacy to be pushed beyond Most Valuable Oriole and into the AL Most Valuable Player race?

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“I was talking about it two months ago, if you all remember,” Orioles manager Buck Showalter said. “But I’ve been talking about it, so I could use some help.”

Houston Astros second baseman Jose Altuve likely will run away with this year’s award. He’s the catalyst for the team with the best record in the AL, could lead the league in on-base percentage, batting average and stolen bases and has a commanding lead in Wins Above Replacement with 7.2 (the next closest is Los Angeles Angels shortstop Andrelton Simmons at 6.4).

Schoop is seventh in WAR with 4.8, likely because his defense is not as highly regarded as some of the other MVP contenders such as Simmons and Altuve. Schoop’s defense certainly has improved during the second half, though.

“I’m talking about both sides of the ball,” Showalter said, stumping for Schoop as a MVP candidate. “But a lot of them who were shoo-ins a couple months ago have kind of, might be behind him now. I’m trying to stay off the bulletin board here. I’m not too good at it.”

Schoop was asked whether he thought he should be mentioned in potential MVP discussions. And he answered like you would expect.

“I don’t think about those types of things. I just want to contribute to my team, do whatever I can do for us to win, whatever I can do to put us in the playoffs, that’s all that matters,” Schoop said. “It doesn’t matter if you’re MVP, but you’re at home and watching the games. Playoffs are fun. I want to do my best. I want to be better than I was last year. I want to contribute to my team, and whatever happens, we’re going to see.”

Right answer. But, if the Orioles keep surging to those playoffs, Schoop has to start getting some MVP buzz.

8 Comments

8 Comments

  1. Bancells Moustache

    September 2, 2017 at 7:53 am

    I agree, but how about Mancini? I said in July that Judge was going to slow down and if Trey turned it on down the stretch and led the O’s back to contention he should give Judge a run for the ROTY. Now here we are in September, Judge hasn’t just slowed down, he has all but stopped and Mancini is making game saving catches in a position he doesn’t even play. Where is the love?

    • Dan Connolly

      September 2, 2017 at 1:36 pm

      Stache, Judge just got too far ahead for this to be a race. Even with his major slump, he still leads the league in homers as a rookie. His OBP, OPS, etc are so much better than the other young boys. Mancini, in another year, would be firmly in the mix. He’s closed the gap like I wouldn’t have imagined. He deserves consideration. But Judge will easily win the verdict, I think.

  2. ComeBack2Camden

    September 2, 2017 at 10:48 am

    Absolutely. Altuve is an excellent choice and Cruz is having a great year. But it is time for the national media establishment, which focuses on Satan and the Manson Family in the AL East and the Walgreens in the NL, to remove blinders.

    • Dan Connolly

      September 2, 2017 at 1:37 pm

      I think it is starting to happen, Camden. This kid is quietly doing too much not to be noticed.

  3. TxBirdFan

    September 2, 2017 at 2:52 pm

    Great question Dan! Living in Texas I tend to agree that Altuve will get the MVP nod – he’s putting together a great year. But Schoop definitely needs to be mentioned as being in the top 5.

    I also support Mancini for ROTY. Judge is a monster player but has had a terrible 2nd half. That big strike zone might be catching up to him. Meanwhile Mancini has been a model of consistency and dependability all year long.

  4. Osfan73

    September 2, 2017 at 3:07 pm

    This is Schoop’s coming out party!! Absolutly should be in the discussion for AL MVP!!!

  5. Paul Folkemer

    September 2, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    Don’t forget Mike Trout in the MVP discussion. Even though he missed a month and a half, he’s heads and shoulders above everyone else when he’s on the field. By FanGraphs WAR, Trout is tied for second in the AL (behind Altuve) even though he’s played about 40 fewer games than the others. That’s how good he’s been.

    I still think Altuve will win it, but I could see Schoop finishing in the top 5.

  6. Orial

    September 2, 2017 at 5:18 pm

    Order of MVP votes(my opinion of course). Altuve,Trout,Judge(unfortunetly),Schoop.

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