Jul. 31, 2018
Jonathan Schoop For MVP?
It's the end of August, the season is almost over and that means that die-hard fans will make a case for their favorite players to win the MVP. I am guilty as charged, and the Ramon Hernandez debate of '07 was a good one.
Recently, hordes of Orioles fans are declaring that All-Star second baseman Jonathan Schoop should get consideration for the award. If they would just define what they mean by "consideration", I would agree. He should get considered, just not seriously.
There is no denying that Schoop is a great player in the middle of his breakout season, I just don't feel as though he is putting up MVP numbers.
The 25 year old is slashing .301/.349/.532 with a 133 OPS+, 27 home runs and 93 RBIs, as well as 85 wRC and .369 wOBA, all career bests. He is also striking out a lot less than usual and walking 5.5% of his at bats, another career high.
In addition to having an insane offensive breakout, Schoop is playing defense at an elite level. While having a superb arm, his RF/9 and RF/G totals are higher than the league average second baseman.
He is the real deal, and the maturation process of Schoop and teammate Manny Machado has been a treat to watch for Baltimore fans and throughout baseball. I'm glad to see
So you might be wondering, how is he not a solid MVP candidate?
The biggest reason is that the American League has too many players to choose from for MVP. Even with young stars Francisco Lindor and Machado having down years, and Mike Trout missing two months of the year, the competition is still too good.
If I had a vote, Astros 2B Jose Altuve would take home the award with Angels SS Andrelton Simmons finishing in 2nd. If Schoop were to be on the vote, he would probably be in 5th.
A lesser reason is that Schoop is not playing for a playoff bound team. He is currently carrying the nauseating Orioles to a 62-65 record with little realistic playoff hopes.
Since the BBWAA started giving out the award in 1931, a player on a losing team has been MVP only 7 times. Most recently was Mike Trout in 2016. So while it has happened in the past, it is very rare and unlikely. Voters will look at a player like Schoop and determine his value using the logic that if he were to be removed from the roster, his team would still miss the playoffs.
The final reason is that Schoop is not even the most valuable at his position. Second Basemen Jose Altuve of the Astros and Robinson Cano of the Mariners are both more valuable to their teams than Schoop is to the Orioles.
And don't get me wrong, Jonathan Schoop is a fantastic ballplayer and one of the more underrated players in the sport, but I don't think he is at the level of winning MVP awards. Or at least not yet.
The sure-fire MVO could possibly win a Silver Slugger Award, but the Most Valuable Player is very unlikely unless Schoop and the Birds go on a tear down the stretch.