Fantasy Baseball: 10 Players Who Surprised Us in 2017
Jonathan Schoop, 2B, Baltimore Orioles
Preseason ADP: 169.8
Baltimore Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop showed his potential at the plate during the 2016 season when he set new single-season career highs in home runs (25), RBI (82), and runs scored (82). Those are all useful at the keystone, but he couldn't use that as a springboard to solid overall production -- his 99 wRC+ and .320 were both steps back from the year prior.
The one thing holding him back, though, was his plate discipline. Between 2013 and 2016, Schoop's 3.0% walk rate was the lowest among qualified hitters, which made sense after seeing he also had the second-highest swing rate (58.1%) and a chase rate that tied for the sixth highest (42.3%).
He still has some work to do in this department, but he took some substantial steps forward in 2017, which we noticed almost immediately. His walk rate increased to 5.2%, which was accompanied by a swing rate and chase rate that decreased to 52.4% and 37.1%, respectively. What should motivate the second baseman to continue focusing on improving this area of his game is how his offensive production skyrocketed.
Schoop once again set new career highs in homers (32), RBI (105), and runs scored (92), but paired it with a .293/.338/.503, a 121 wRC+, and a .355 wOBA. All of those numbers were also new personal bests.