Detroit Tigers: Jonathan Schoop not backing down from competition

Detroit Tigers second baseman Jonathan Schoop (7) bats against the Philadelphia Phillies during Spring Training.
Detroit Tigers second baseman Jonathan Schoop (7) bats against the Philadelphia Phillies during Spring Training. / Kirthmon F. Dozier / USA TODAY NETWORK

Detroit Tigers infielder Jonathan Schoop not backing down.

Detroit Tigers infielder Jonathan Schoop is no stranger to competition. After ten seasons in the big leagues, the infielder has been through his fair share of Spring Training positional battles and even just battles to perform well.

He was an all-star once in his career, and the Detroit Tigers continue to try and squeeze whatever good baseball they can out of him before his time in the big leagues is done. That may not be in the imminent/direct future, but after 2022, it's hard to think he has a ton left to offer.

But, the 31-year-old Schoop has not backed down one bit. He continues to work hard and try to prove he will come out and swing it in 2023. While he has been absent from Tigers Spring Training recently, he's back and looking to finish the spring on a high note.

Schoop missed some time this spring as he joined the Netherlands national team to be a part of the 2023 World Baseball Classic. He has already returned to the Tigers, and things did not go swimmingly for the Tigers infielder.

In fact, part of his return to the Tigers was going over his at-bats with A.J. Hinch, who jokingly tore him up about his performance. Schoop, noted to be a guy who keeps things light, had just one hit over four games and was punched out six times.

The WBC was a snapshot of how things went last summer. In 2022, Schoop played in 131 games for the Tigers, where he hit .202/.239/.322 with 23 doubles, a triple, and 11 home runs. He also drew just 19 walks and was punched out 107 times.

In some of his at-bats, it seemed as though he was just flailing the bat out there to offer at pitches. He had some pretty ugly swings and seemed to really be out of sync with his operation in the batters' box.

After a tough 2022 season and a lackluster WBC performance, Schoop is still aiming to come back and be a better hitter in 2023. He's vying for time at second and likely will be the team's no.1 option at second base to start the season, but he has to start hitting.

The Tigers are in a position where they need him to hit, or he could get replaced, as Scott Harris has made it clear he is going to earmark at-bats for some of the younger players. Schoop also has Cesár Hernandez, who could sneak onto the roster and earn some time at the MLB level in 2023.

The Tigers will go with their trusted option, as Schoop has been a part of this team for the last few seasons and earned an extension to stick around, but the bat has to make some leaps in 2023.

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