Baltimore Orioles: What to make of Jonathan Schoop

Jonathan Schoop is only one of many former Baltimore Orioles appearing in the 2018 MLB playoffs. Schoop’s Milwaukee Brewers lead the Los Angeles Dodgers 1-0 in the NLCS. However Schoop himself has been absent in the lineup of late, as he’s struggled mightily since leaving Baltimore.

In many cases it works in reverse; a player looks average at best with the O’s, and their career takes off when they go elsewhere. And often times that transition is immediate. Schoop finished the 2018 regular season hitting only .202 in a Brewers’ uniform.

Many naysayers over the years have tried to market things as the Orioles screwing the pooch in developing players and so forth. Then they go somewhere else and other coaches in another organization with another system straighten them out. But if you’re going to argue that point, you’d have no choice but to argue the opposite in this case. Or at least argue that the Orioles were obviously doing something right with Schoop.

My personal opinion is that this is in essence the inverse of a guy needing a change of air. The Orioles aren’t unique in that sometimes guys flourish when they go elsewhere. It happens across sports all the time. Sometimes just being in a different set-up can achieve better results. Sometimes it allows the player to be somewhat more relaxed, and it just falls into place.

But Schoop was a guy who seemed to like playing in Baltimore. And his departure came as somewhat of a surprise, given that the Orioles seemed intent on trading everyone. So is it possible that the exact opposite results of a change of air occurred with him?

That’s my theory. The more sinister version of that is that the O’s got rid of him just in time. I don’t believe that, for what it’s worth. I don’t think that someone as young as Schoop is going to just fall off a cliff and suddenly not be right. But either way, he didn’t have a good second half with his new team. For his sake and theirs, my hope is that he can get it together in whatever appearances he makes moving forward.

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