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Tuesday August 4, 2009 8:03 pm
Marco Scutaro Walks to Score Runs
It’s no secret that on-base percentage is a stat on the rise – literally. It’s a cycle. The more a player can get on base, the more his OBP goes up, the more he’ll play, the more you’ll love him. One of the most effective ways to differentiate between batting average and on-base percentage is to look at the walks. In the American League alone, the list of walk leaders goes Jason Bay (71), Carlos Pena (67), Nick Swisher (65), and Marco Scutaro (64). Wait, Marco who?
Scutaro, the starting shortstop for the Toronto Blue Jays this year is having a season like no other he’s had before, and he has the regular playing time to thank for it. His ability to take pitches has earned him a spot in the everyday lineup, which has earned him more walks. He does just about everything you want a leadoff man to do, and he does it well.
While his individual stats are average at best, he sits near the top of many leader boards for stats that help contribute to team wins, including walks, runs (75), OBP (.389), total bases (179) and strike outs (51). His ability to do the small things has helped the Blue Jays hover around the .500 mark in a season where their pitching staff has been plagued by injuries and the big bats have come up small. He and All-Star Aaron Hill have also combined to create one of the most effective middle infields in baseball this year.
The fact is that teams are made up of two kinds of players: Marco Scutaro’s, and everybody else. There are too many players who play for the individual stats, and it is history’s fault that the emphasis is placed on those numbers. Big name sluggers come and go. Team players win World Series.
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