Baltimore Orioles second baseman, Jonathan Schoop ('skohp'), was born in Curacao, the island country in the southern Caribbean Sea, north of the Venezuelan coast, which is part of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. Considered Dutch, Schoop, just 21 at the time, was a member of Team Netherlands during the 2013 World Baseball Classic, and he made his Major League debut with the Orioles in September of that year.
Athletic excellence runs in the Schoop family, as both of his parents played soccer and his brother, Sharlon, plays in the Minor Leagues. Jonathan began playing baseball at the age of 4, and he got a taste of what it's like to play on a big stage when he helped guide Curacao to the 2003 and 2004 Little League World Series -- an experience that surely helped groom him into becoming one of the sport's rising young stars.
In 30 games this season, Schoop has five home runs, 27 hits and two doubles. His fifth homer of the season came in the Orioles' 11-3 home win over the A's on Mother's Day, when he went 3-for-4 with two runs scored and an RBI.
His outstanding Mother's Day performance was fitting given Schoop's family-values mindset. In addition to his immediate family members, he was very close to his late aunt.
"She believed in me more than I believed in myself," he said. "She was everything to me."
His aunt isn't the only one to believe in Jonathan. Earlier this year, teammate Manny Machado, a close friend who progressed through the Orioles system with Schoop, told the Baltimore Sun, "This year, I think he's capable of winning the Gold Glove, and he's capable of winning the Silver Slugger. He's a very special player, and I think this is the year that everybody's going to see who Jonathan Schoop is."
And now you have the #MLBPlayers411 on Mr. Schoop.
More about Schoop from the #MLBPlayers411:
- He can speak four languages: English, Spanish, Dutch and Papiamento.
- Back home with his friends, Schoop likes to play dominoes.
- His favorite team growing up was the Atlanta Braves because Andruw Jones is also from Curacao.
- His favorite players were Ken Griffey, Jr. and Derek Jeter.
- Signed by the Orioles in 2008 as a free agent.
- Played in the 2011 All-Star Futures Game.
- Hit a home run in his first MLB game.