Monday, December 19, 2011

Season in Review: Marco Scutaro


Preseason Predictions:
84 G, .260 BA, 7 HR, 42 RBI, .720 OPS

Actual Statistics:
113 G, .299 BA, 7 HR, 59 RBI, .781 OPS

Coming into the season, I was expecting a declining Scutaro to spend some time on the disabled list and lose out on some of his playing time to the emerging Jed Lowrie. After what happened in May, it seemed as if I was going to be correct. Scutaro struggled through April and then was hurt for much of May, when the Legend of Jed Lowrie began as he tore up big league pitching for a few weeks. Of course, Lowrie then fell back to Earth, eventually got hurt and Scutaro began putting up very productive numbers. It ended up being his second best offensive season in his career, and his .299 batting average was a career high. Although health was definitely an issue, his 113 games was his lowest total since 2007. He improved his walk rate from 2010 and lowered his strike out rate at the same time (8.5% BB%, 8.1 K%). His .312 BABIP was a little inflated, but it wasn't so high that it puts a total damper on his success. Scutaro showed power that he has rarely ever shown in his career, posting a .124 ISO. While short stop has long been a position of need for this team, they got above average contributions there this year, thanks to the veteran. Scutaro posted a .343 wOBA and 110 wRC+, which were 40 and 28 points higher than the average MLB shortstop in 2011, respectively.

Final Grade:
Scutaro had a very good, and mostly undervalued, 2011 season. With his good-enough defense and good offensive numbers, Fangraphs had him at 2.9 WAR, tying his career high. He was also one of the very few players to produce at a high level in September. Expect some regression next year, but for 2011, I'd give him a A-.

Because of my finals schedule as well as a bout with a pretty nasty cold, I've been unable to address the Jed Lowrie/Kyle Weiland for Mark Melancon trade. Since it's been so long and basically everything has already been said, I decided not to dedicate a whole post to it. Basically, I think it was a good move since Lowrie and Weiland really didn't have a future hear in my opinion. Just figured I should at least mention the move, and add that it will be even better if they can get another back-of-the-bullpen arm to compliment this deal.

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