This really shouldn’t have been much of a race.
This year’s Most Valuable Oriole, as announced Friday by the organization, is second baseman Jonathan Schoop, who is hitting .295 with a .340 on-base percentage, .514 slugging percentage, 33 doubles and 32 homers in 2017.
His 105 RBIs heading into Friday are the second most in the American League, behind only his mentor, former Oriole and current Seattle Mariners’ designated hitter Nelson Cruz.
Schoop, 25, has more homers and RBIs in one season than any other second baseman in club history, including Hall of Famer Roberto Alomar.
There obviously were some other strong performances this season, but no Oriole was as consistent as Schoop at the plate. While others, including his best buddy Manny Machado, have had a rollercoaster of a season, Schoop remained steady. After a fast start, he was moved into the third spot in the order, and has excelled.
The local media votes on the annual MVO Award, which is named in honor of late Baltimore Sun sportstwriter Lou Hatter, and are asked to order a Top 3 on their ballots.
The club doesn’t announce the final voting tallies, but said the following players, in alphabetical order, received votes: Dylan Bundy, Welington Castillo, Adam Jones, Manny Machado and Trey Mancini.
This is Schoop’s first MVO Award. Machado won it last year.