I am as happy as the next person that Marco Scutaro is on board as the next starting SS of the Red Sox, but is all of the excitement around his signing too much? Let\’s step back for a minute and look at Scutaro\’s 2009 stats as compared to the rest of his career.
Without a doubt, Scutaro had his best year as a professional during the 2009 season. He hit .282 with 12 HR\’s and 60 RBI\’s in 144 games with the Blue Jays. Even more interesting was Scutaro\’s 90 BB\’s last season, which ranked him 7th in AL in that category. By most standards, those are great numbers for a bottom of the lineup hitter with the only poor stat being his 75 K\’s. However, was last year a fluke?
For his career, Scutaro is a respectable .265 hitter, but has only had 2 seasons in which he hit above .270 (.273 in 2004 with Oakland) and only one season in which he hit over .280 (.282 in 2009 with Toronto). This past season was the first time Marco had eclipsed the 10 HR in his 8 year MLB career and his OBP was .052 higher than his career average. Given career trends, the chances the player the Red Sox acquired plays like he did in 2009 is highly unlikely, but there are some things swaying in his favor.
Throughout his career, Scutaro has been on only decent offense clubs (Toronto and Oakland primarily). By being placed in the bottom of the Sox lineup, there will be much less stress and focus on his hitting ability as well as the opportunity for him to see better pitches. On he defensive side of the ball, Scutaro is one of the best fielders in the AL who consistently makes the routine plays and has a tendency to wow you with his range.
Overall the 34 year old SS will fill a gap that the Sox desperately needed on the left side of the infield, but let\’s not hail him the next Nomar just yet. Let him get out on that Fenway field and convince all of us that he is the stability at that position that the Sox have not seen in years. For Theo and the Sox sake, I hope Marco Scutaro is the answer, because this whole revolving door stuff each year is getting old.