Orioles' Schoop replicating sweet sound in spring in hopes of sustaining success from 2017

Jon Meoli
Contact ReporterThe Baltimore Sun

Orioles second baseman Jonathan Schoop, the team's lone All-Star from last season, isn't showing signs of a letdown in spring training as he hit his fourth home run of the Grapefruit League season.

By both the eye test and the sounds he's hearing, manager Buck Showalter believes Schoop is ready to replicate his 2017 — or better it.

"Jon's never satisfied," Showalter said after the Orioles' sixth straight win, a 7-4 beating of the New York Yankees. "He's never come in here with any airs of entitlement because of what went on last year. That's why people really are drawn to him and his personality. Jon is very humble, and all of a sudden you've got to remind yourself the guy drove in 100 runs last year. I don't think anybody else out there did. He's picked up right where he left off. He's been good."

With the two-run home run in the second inning, Schoop has homered in his past two games and had four multi-hit games in his past seven to help him to a .406/.472/.844 batting line in 32 spring at-bats.

That Schoop, Manny Machado (.471 with three home runs) and a host of other Orioles regulars are swinging the bat well this spring seems to be a positive for a team that's entering the season with so many questions. But Showalter was focused Wednesday on the sound that carried over the din of the sellout crowd at Ed Smith Stadium for Schoop's blast into the left-field grill deck.

"As pretty a sound as you hear is that click it makes when he catches a ball," Showalter said. "It's got a little different sound to it. It's not a crack, it's a click."

What does it mean?

"It means the ball's going to go where you can't catch it. A crack sometimes, too, unless it's a cracked bat. I've seen guys with kind of a thud, but his ball, when he squares that ball up to left-center field, left field, it has a different sound. People talk about it."

jmeoli@baltsun.com

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