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Orioles prospect Jonathan Schoop seeing back specialist

The Baltimore Sun

The Orioles’ top position prospect, Jonathan Schoop, was scheduled to see back specialist Lee Riley at Johns Hopkins on Tuesday to receive further evaluation on a lower back strain that has landed him on the seven-day minor league disabled list.

Schoop, rated the Orioles’ No. 3 prospect by Baseball America, was hitting .268/.331/.386 with three homers and 18 RBIs for Triple-A Norfolk before he was placed on the DL on Thursday.

It is believed that Schoop’s back problems are rooted from continuing growth spurts the 21-year-old infielder has experienced for the past two years. Last season, he dealt with nagging knee tendinitis throughout the season, which the organization also believed was a result of Schoop growing into his body.

Schoop, who had a productive season in the Arizona Fall League as well as playing for the Netherlands the World Baseball Classic, has played second base, third base and shortstop in the minors. This season at Norfolk, he’s played 17 games at second base (where he hasn’t made an error) and 17 games at shortstop, which was his natural position coming up.

Provided he stays healthy, the Orioles believe Schoop’s bat will develop as he does physically, making the only question where he would play at the major league level. Currently, the Orioles’ greatest need is at second.

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