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The Season That Was: Marco Scutaro

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It seems amazing that a year ago we were arguing whether Marco Scutaro could be a full time shortstop, since once a utility player, always a utility player, like there is something in a player's DNA that makes some able to play full time and some able to be utility players. Instead it has more to do with being the needs of a team and the decision of a manager. Anyway, he more than proved that he could be a full time shortstop and was, at least for this season, one of the best in the league and hopefully we won't have to argue about the utility player tag again.

Before the season, as much as we thought he could do the job at short, I wasn't all that thrilled that he might be the leadoff hitter. Boy I was wrong there, we could hardly have done better. He took to the leadoff slot very well, working the count, taking walks and getting on base. 

In the 'Community Project' we guessed Scutaro would end up with a .340 OBP and .360 SLG in 600 plate appearances, which with his defense would have a WAR of 3.09. It seemed like we were pretty optimistic. In the real world: 


G AB R H 2B 3B HR RBI BB K SB CS AVG OBP SLG
2009 - Marco Scutaro 144 574 100 162 35 1 12 60 90 75 14 5 .282 .380 .409

So we were low by 40 points on the OBP and 49 points of slugging, and he had 80 more plate appearances that we figured. Fangraphs had him at a 4.4 WAR that would be worth $19.9 million. Marco set career highs in basically every offensive category. His 90 walk was the 8th most ever in a season for a Jay.

Marco hit RHP (.287/.376/.406) as well as he hit LHP (.269/.389/.421). He hit much better on the road (.322/.405/.429) than at home (.242/.353/.389).

His longest hitting streak was 8 games back at the end of May, but he did have a 22 game on base streak. 

Batting by Month:

April           .281/.421/.506

May            .322/.397/.421

June           229/.328/..324

July            .355/.413/.527

August       .274/.391/.379

Sept/Oct     .211/.310/.282

Yeah there was a drop off in September there, I am figuring it has to do with his heel problem. Plantar fasciitis is very painful. 

He hit well with RISP (.292/.400/.427).  I thought that no one on the team hit well with RISP. 

His favorite team to play? The White Sox against whom he hit .458/.533/.625, he also hit very well against the Tigers, Indians, Royals and Orioles. He didn't hit well against the Marlins (.111/.333/.111) but that was in just 3 games. Among teams he played more than 3 games against, he didn't hit well against the Angels (.172/.324/.172) and Rangers (.195/.298/.220).

Fielding? Fangraphs had his UZR at 0.3 around the middle of the pack for shortstops. A big drop from last year's 7.6 at short. I think, again, that the foot troubles cost him a lot of range at the end of the season. I know his numbers were better earlier on. He had 10 errors and a .984 fielding percentage, .002 short of Derek Jeter the league leader in fielding percentage. 

It was a terrific season to go into free agency on. I don't how much money he's going to get on his next contract but I'd bet dollars to donuts that what ever he gets he'll be easily worth it. I hope it's with the Jays because I've enjoyed watching him but I could really see the Red Sox taking t a run at him or several other teams. He is fun to watch and looks like he has a good time playing the game. It was great fun when camera's caught him kissing his bat in the dugout or hugging his teammates. He is hard not to like.