Tigers’ Jonathan Schoop named Gold Glove award finalist

Detroit News

Detroit — Jonathan Schoop on Thursday was selected as a finalist for a Rawlings Gold Glove award among American League second basemen.

Schoop, who led all defenders in baseball with 27 outs above average and 20 runs above average, per FanGraphs, was named along with Texas’ Marcus Semien and Cleveland’s Andres Gimenez.

“It would mean a lot to me,” Schoop said in an interview on Sept 29. “This has been a rough season for this group and for me, too. This is my lowest offensive production, but it means a lot that I didn’t let my offensive struggles carry over to my defense. I found a way to keep it separate and still go out and help my team.”

Schoop’s inclusion is a case study of sorts. Offensive production isn’t supposed to be a factor in winning Gold Glove awards, but history has shown that oftentimes it is.

“I think Jonathan has a viable case,” Tigers manager AJ Hinch said. “It’s a good challenge on whether it’s truly about defense or whether it’s about the total package. There has been a lot of debate over the years over how much offense plays into it.

“There are second basemen who have outperformed him offensively. But pound-for-pound, play-for-play, his defense has been remarkable.”

Both Gimenez (140 wRC-plus) and Semien (107 wRC-plus) far outperformed Schoop (57 wRC-plus) with the bat. They also rated out better in terms of defensive runs saved — Gimenez 16, Semien 13 and Schoop 8.

But Schoop’s total defensive rating of 22.8 is 11.7 points better than No. 2 Semien.

“That’s why they have the Silver Slugger award,” Schoop said. “The Gold Glove is the Gold Glove. It’s not about hitting. In the past, they don’t give it to me when I hit better than any second baseman. This is the Gold Glove award — you don’t have to worry about hitting.”

Schoop has never won a Gold Glove award in his 10 seasons in the big leagues.

Winners will be announced on Nov. 1 on ESPN.

cmccosky@detroitnews.com

Twitter: @cmccosky

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