Wednesday, January 2, 2019

Where they stand: Second base

Presumed regular: Jonathan Schoop

Others on the 40: Ehire Adrianaza, Ronald Torreyes, Nick Gordon

Nonroster notables: None

A superficial reading of Schoop's stat lines would suggest that the Twins signed him to try to mirror the departed Brian Dozier's production.

2016: Schoop .267, 25 HR, 83 RBIs; Dozier .268, 42, 98
2017: Schoop .293, 32, 105; Dozier .271, 34, 93
2018: Schoop .233, 21, 61; Dozier .217, 21, 72

Both were traded last summer from a struggling American League team to a National League contender; each hit worse in the senior circuit and wound up riding the pine down the stretch and in the playoffs.

Each can finger injury as a reason for their downturn in 2018. Dozier played through a knee problem, and Schoop, according to the Twins front office, was hampered by a pulled oblique.

But the mirror production only goes so far. Schoop is five years younger than Dozier, a plus for the Curaco native.

Not a plus for Schoop: During those three years -- chosen because 2016 was the beginning of Schoop's period as Baltimore's regular second baseman -- Schoop's on-base percentage was .304. Dozier's was .336.

Schoop can replace Dozier's power. He's younger and, at least by the defensive metrics available on Baseball Reference, now a better defensive second baseman than Dozier. The Twins arguably brought low on him after his disappointing 2018.

But he belongs at the bottom of a lineup, not at the top or middle.

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