Six MLB hitters with a lot to prove in 2019

Six MLB hitters with a lot to prove in 2019

Chin Music Baseball

Six MLB hitters with a lot to prove in 2019

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Sep 18, 2018; Milwaukee, WI, USA; Milwaukee Brewers shortstop Jonathan Schoop (5) drives in a run with a base hit in the second inning against the Cincinnati Reds at Miller Park. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Jonathan Schoop, Minnesota Twins

Talk about going from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Schoop’s 2017 campaign with the Orioles was the best of his career, including personal bests in OPS (.841), wRC+ (122), fWAR (3.8), home runs (32), and RBI (105). He ended 2018 with his third consecutive season of 20-plus homers, but it was his worst offensive year since 2014.

After seeing progress in his plate discipline during that ’17 campaign, the second baseman went backwards this past year. His 3.8% walk rate and 43.1% chase rate (5.2% and 37.1% in ’17, respectively) both reverted back to what he had been doing prior to the breakout. Schoop’s 77.1% swing rate on strikes shot back up a few percentage points and his 86.3% contact rate in this situation was actually a career-high mark, but it’s hard to get positive results without the quality-of-contact to back it up.

His hard-hit rate has gone on a roller coaster since becoming a full-time player in 2014: 26.0%, 35.8%, 26.6%, 36.1%, 27.8%. Now, the task will be to regain some of that above-average form before re-entering free agency next winter.

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