Saturday, June 29, 2013

The remarkable Marco Scutaro

A Giants Win hat tip to Dave Cameron at Fangraphs, who has a fine piece about how Scutaro has improved himself as a player over his career -- 


And while super high contact numbers aren’t always a great thing for hitters — they often can be combined with a complete lack of power or plate discipline — Scutaro has basically refined his approach to maximize performance. Over the last calendar year, he’s posted the third lowest rate of swings on pitches out of the strike zone, and he owns the highest contact rate on pitches in the strike zone. In other words, Scutaro won’t swing at balls and he doesn’t miss strikes. Even with modest power, that approach can be highly effective.
Over that same past 365 day window, Scutaro has hit .327/.370/.422, good for a 120 wRC+. For comparison, that puts him just ahead of guys like Howie Kendrick and Chase Utley, who we profiled as still an excellent player yesterday. Among qualified second baseman, Scutaro ranks fifth in wRC+ over the last year, and he’s not that far behind guys like Dustin Pedroia (127 wRC+).
At a point in his career where most players are a shell of their prior selves, Scutaro is better than he’s ever been, and he’s showing no signs of slowing down. Over the last year, he’s been worth +3.5 WAR while hitting five home runs and stealing three bases. He might be the least toolsy player in the entire sport, but he has learned to completely own the strike zone, and that single skill alone has made him one of the best second baseman in baseball.

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