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Top 60 All-Time Greatest Blue Jays: #53 Marco Scutaro

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Toronto Blue Jays v Washington Nationals Photo by G Fiume/Getty Images

Marcos Scutaro | SS.2B | 2008-2009

My original idea was to skip anyone with less than 3 seasons with the team, but there was a notable exception that had to be on the list, and, well, Marco Scutaro was one of my favorites. So here we are.

Marco was born October 30, 1975, in San Felipe, Venezuela. Cleveland signed him as an amateur free agent back in July of 1994. He was “the player to be named later” is a 7- player trade to the Brewers (a trade that featured Richie Sexson, Steve Woodard, and Bob Wickman and he was a subject in a documentary titled A Player to Be Named Later.

In 2002 he was picked up off waivers by the Mets. He played a few games for them in 2002 and 2003 and then picked up by the A’s off waivers. That’s where he became a major leaguer. He played four seasons with the A’s, hitting .262/.321/.387 in 476 games. The highlight of his time with the A’s was a 3-run, walk-off home run against Mariano Rivera.

We picked him up in trade for Kristian Bell and Graham Godfrey. Godfrey would go on to play 10 games in the majors. Bell would go on to star in Veronica Mars never made it to the majors.

Scutaro started the 2008 season playing third base, filling in for Scott Rolen, who was out with a finger issue. Soon after Rolen came back, David Eckstein went out with a ‘hip flexor’ injury, and Marco slid into his spot. Next, Aaron Hill went out with a concussion after Eckstein accidentally elbowed him in the head when both were chasing a popup.

Through it all, Marco played very well, hitting .267/.341/.356 with 7 home runs. At the start of the season, he was batting at the bottom of the order. By the end he was hitting leadoff or second. With excellent defense wherever he played, he finished with a 4.5 bWAR.

JP oversold it by saying Marco was the team’s MVP. I was very polite in my disagreement:

JP said Scoot was our team MVP. This should be added to our reasons to fire JP. I mean if you have such little understanding of what goes into winning baseball that you think a guy who’s OP+ is 86 is your MVP then you have no business running a team. Frig....putting aside that Doc is the team MVP, offensively who comes in front of him? Hmmmm Wells, Rios, Overbay, Inglett, Rolen, Lind, Barajas.

In 2009, Marco didn’t have to wait around for someone to be injured. He was given Eckstein’s job as shortstop and hit leadoff in 149 of our 162 games. Before the season, I said that there was no way he should be our leadoff man. Just one of the many thousands of times I’ve been wrong. Marco hit .282/.379/.409 with 12 home runs, 14 steals, and a 5.4 bWAR (tied for 26th best single season in Jays' history).

And he was a very heads up player:

He only played for us the 2 seasons, signing with the Red Sox after the 2009 season. He went to the Rockies and then the Giants, picking up a World Series ring in S.F. The video of him standing in the rain is quite the image.

In all, Marco had a 13 season MLB career, hitting .277/.341/.388 in 1391 games. He had his 2 best seasons with the Jays, hitting .275/.362/.384 for a 9.8 bWAR (29th among Jays’ position players, he is also 15th in defensive WAR). He’s also 39th in walks, which surprises me since he only had the two seasons. Players need 1500 at-bats to get on the averages leader boards (he would be 19th on the on-base % list and 18th in batting average if he had the at-bats).

I liked him because he always seemed to have a good time and seemed like a smart player. He got the most out of his abilities. He knew how to ham it up for the cameras. I tried to find a video of him kissing his bat after a home run but didn’t have any luck.