Six Then, and Six Now

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If any of you readers out there in Birdland listen to podcasts, you know all about the Section 336 show. It’s four guys, (Josh, his brother Matt, Bert, and The {world’s worst} Intern), just shootin’ it about Orioles baseball. Hands down, their show is one of my favorite shows to listen to, and I highly recommend it to any reader that wants to hear a podcast made by O’s fans, for O’s fans.

Yesterday, I fired up the ol’ podcast app on my iPhone, and listened to the show recorded Tuesday night prior to the All-Star game. While there wasn’t a single mention of Pokemon (thank god) on that broadcast, they had a guest appearance by Cory Baker (@LegendCB85), of the O The Anthem podcast, who said something that really got me thinking. Cory said “given the number alone, how much does Jonathan Schoop remind you of Melvin Mora”. I immediately thought to myself, “damn he’s right”. I decided to dig into some of the stats on Melvin, compared to the current stats on Schoop, just to see how Jonathan could resemble the retired father of quintuplets.

Don’t get me wrong, I am well aware I posted an article a few weeks back about how the O’s could use Schoop as trade bait, however, I did not state that I was a fan of a decision that would lose Schoop. That article was merely a “what if”.

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Melvin Mora was born in Yaracuay, Venezuela, and Jonathan Schoop in Willemsted, Curacao. Those locations are about 190 kilometers, or 118 miles apart from one another. If you don’t have time to look at a map, that’s about the distance from Oriole Park at Camden Yards, to just past Salisbury on your next trip to Ocean City; not too far at all.

Both Mora, and Schoop were signed originally as Amateur Free Agents, however, Mora did spend a little more time in the minor leagues than Schoop did prior to their respective call-ups. Melvin Mora was signed in 1991, by the Houston Astros, released in 1997, and signed with the New York Mets in 1998, ten years prior to Jonathan Schoop’s signing in Baltimore, in 2008.

Mora spent a total of 11 seasons in the minor leagues with affiliates of the Houston Astros, New York Mets, and Baltimore Orioles. In those 11 seasons, Mora hit 33 home runs, while totaling 187 extra base hits. In his ten years wearing an Orioles uniform, Mora slashed .280/.355/.438, while hitting 158 home runs, and 422 extra base hits. During those ten years, Melvin was selected to two All-Star teams, (2003 and 2005), and led the major leagues with a .419 on-base percentage in 2004. During his 13-year major league career, Mora also turned around 272 double-plays, with a .966 fielding percentage.

While Melvin Mora was finishing out his career with the Rockies, and Diamondbacks, Jonathan Schoop was making his way through the Orioles farm system. In six years with the Orioles minor league affiliates, Schoop had 17 more home runs than Mora did in his minor league career, with 50, and he compiled 149 extra base hits. The Orioles must have known the 6′ 1″, 21-year-old was going to be something special because in his debut on September 25, 2013, Schoop went 2-3, with a home run off of Kyle Drabek of the Blue Jays.

In Schoop’s 315 games with the O’s, he is currently slashing .257/.290/.437, and has 46 home runs and 105 extra base hits. While those numbers don’t look entirely overwhelming, Schoop currently has a .983 fielding %, and he is a HUGE reason the Orioles defense has been number one two of the past three seasons.

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With this being Schoop’s third full season in the big leagues, it’s easy to see how far he has come in just three full years, and there is no doubt that he is only going to get better as the years go on.

There are some definite similarities between Schoop’s game, and Mora’s, and even though Schoop’s walk-up song isn’t as entertaining as Mora’s was, you can still draw the conclusion that Jonathan Schoop plays the game just as hard as Melvin Mora, giving it 110% day in and day out. You could also argue that Schoop may wind up having a better career than Mora during his time in Baltimore.

So Orioles fans, I want you to tell me some other ways you see a resemblance between the six then, and the six now. Drop me a comment below, or tweet me, and let me know if you can see any other resemblance in Jonathan Schoop to Melvin Mora.

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