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Jonathan Schoop Makes the Twins a lot Better Against the AL Central

Posted by GoGonzoJournal , 08 December 2018 · 1,459 views

jonathan schoop danny duffy corey kluber trevor bauer
Jonathan Schoop Makes the Twins a lot Better Against the AL Central The Minnesota Twins’ acquisition of second baseman Jonathan Schoop has been considered by most as a low-risk, high-reward move by general manager Thad Levine and president Derek Falvey. It is that, but going ignored is the immediate impact the move has on the Twins’ chances in the American League (AL) Central Division.

The AL Central was really bad in 2018. Three teams posted winning percentages below .400, which was one more than the rest of Major League Baseball (MLB). Cleveland, the eventual division champions, were seven wins better than the Twins within the division despite winning the season series over Minnesota 10-9. The Twins just weren’t good enough in games against the AL Central’s worst teams in 2018, especially at the plate. The addition of Schoop for one season at an affordable $7.5 million salary addresses that issue.

Schoop Scorches the AL Central
The AL Central rosters as of this writing bode well for Schoop and the Twins. Over his career, Schoop has a combined batting average of .357 against Minnesota’s division opponents in 168 at-bats. In fact, the only team in the Central with which he’s “struggled” is the Twins, with a .275 batting average but .833 on-base plus slugging percentage (OPS). Let’s look at how Schoop has fared against the AL Central teams the Twins will have to beat to make the playoffs.

Kansas City Royals (32 AB, 12 H, .375/.394/.406)
The Twins didn’t win nearly enough games against the AL Central’s worst team last season. Minnesota lost the season series to Kansas City 10-9, allowing four more runs than they scored over the course of those games. Minnesota was considerably worse on offense against the Royals than the rest of the league, as evidenced by its sOPS+ of 95. Schoop could make an immediate impact in games against the Royals.

Schoop wouldn’t mind if Danny Duffy returns healthy for Kansas City, having accrued eight hits in 16 career at-bats against him. He has two hits in six at-bats against Ian Kennedy, too. While Schoop hasn’t shown much power against the Royals (0 HR, 1 2B) his .394 OBP would be a welcome addition for a team that only reached base at a .347 clip against the Royals last season.

Chicago White Sox (28 AB, 12 H, .429/.433/.571)
There wasn’t a divisional opponent the Twins struggled with more than the White Sox. Despite winning the season series 12-7, relative to the rest of the league, the Twins were terrible at the plate against the White Sox. The Twins’ sOPS+ of 91 was only better than their performances against five other teams. Schoop again can make an immediate impact.

Schoop’s career batting average (.429) and on-base percentage (.433) against the White Sox is better than what he’s posted against any other AL team. Only his slugging percentages against Houston and Texas are better than the .571 slugging percentage he’s posted against White Sox pitching. Schoop especially likes hitting against Carlos Rodon and newly acquired closer Alex Colome, against whom he’s a combined seven of 19 with five RBI.

Detroit Tigers (49 AB, 18 H, .367/.404/.531)
The Twins were 12-7 against the Tigers in 2018, too, but only hit them as well as they did Cleveland relative to the rest of the league. Schoop, however, has hit Detroit pitching pretty well, especially Michael Fulmer. In eight at-bats, Schoop has four hits including a home run, a double, and four RBI. Schoop also has four hits in 12 at-bats against newly acquired free agent Matt Moore, whom the Tigers intend to use as a starter.

Cleveland Indians (59 AB, 18 H, .305/.311/.441)
While Schoop hasn’t hit Cleveland pitching like he has the rest of the AL Central, he’s still a potential upgrade at his position against them. With the performance the Twins got out of the second base position last season, it wouldn’t take much. Only production by Twins’ catchers and designated hitters were worse than the production they got from second basemen last season, and Minnesota’s .365 slugging percentage from second basemen was worst amongst its roster of hitters.

Schoop will have an immediate impact on games against Cleveland’s ace, Corey Kluber, against whom he is four of 12 with a double and a homer in his career. He’s also six for 11 and has driven in four against Cleveland starter Trevor Bauer. Against Danny Salazar, Schoop has two hits in five at-bats. Coincidence Schoop's now a Twin? I think not.

  • tarheeltwinsfan likes this



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GoGonzoJournal
Dec 09 2018 04:56 AM

Anyone else feel like this acquisition was influenced specifically by Schoop's AL Central success, especially against Cleveland starters? Also, given the deep free agent market for middle infielders, the one-year deal being signed so soon in free agency seems to indicate Falvine fully intend to give Nick Gordon a shot to be an everyday player in 2020 if not before. 

    • nclahammer likes this
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jorgenswest
Dec 09 2018 09:24 AM
I think they signed him because he is young, he has had success and they have reason to believe from their data that 2018 was an outlier. I can’t imagine they would look at slash stat data in this size sample.
    • adorduan likes this

Schoop had an OPS+ of 85!His total fielding runs above average is +1.Last year he was a replacement level player at best. His 21 HRs is the only stat that stands out.Unless Arreaz is a shocker or Torreyes and Adrianza shock the world, Schoop is our 2B.Until I see the turn around I cannot envision him helping us go anywhere in the division.His biggest contribution at this point is giving us a live body at 2B.

 

Baseball Reference projects him to have a 750 OPS.If he does we are better, but not dramatically.It was a good signing compared to what we have, but whether it was the best choice we had for 2B is yet to be judged.But one thing for sure, he is better than Logan Forsythe who has a career OPS+ of 95 - not just one bad year - and last year he was 65 OPS+.  

 

 

 

 

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Kelly Vance
Dec 09 2018 03:16 PM

 

Schoop had an OPS+ of 85!His total fielding runs above average is +1.Last year he was a replacement level player at best. His 21 HRs is the only stat that stands out.Unless Arreaz is a shocker or Torreyes and Adrianza shock the world, Schoop is our 2B.Until I see the turn around I cannot envision him helping us go anywhere in the division.His biggest contribution at this point is giving us a live body at 2B.

 

Baseball Reference projects him to have a 750 OPS.If he does we are better, but not dramatically.It was a good signing compared to what we have, but whether it was the best choice we had for 2B is yet to be judged.But one thing for sure, he is better than Logan Forsythe who has a career OPS+ of 95 - not just one bad year - and last year he was 65 OPS+.  

Here is where you seem to answer your own question... (I know you didn't ask one, but the post raises one).  Was Schoop signed to make sure we got "someone" who can rake?  I think so. We have a bunch of banjo hitters in the system at middle IF spots. Dozier taught us there is nothing wrong with a second baseman hitting homers. Problem was, we misused Doze as a lead off hitter when he should have been hitting with RUNNERS ON.  

But I digress. 

I think this is a good signing. Banjo hitters gotta wait their turn. I like Ehire and all, but 20 - 30 homer potential gets to cut the line. 

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theBOMisthebomb
Dec 10 2018 11:13 PM
Nice spin on the stats. It is heartwarming on a cold December night to know that Schoop has the potential to torture the AL Central.