Marco Scutaro: The Late Bloomer is for Real

Shawn SmithContributor IMay 21, 2009

OAKLAND, CA - MAY 10: Marco Scutaro #19 of the Toronto Blue Jays tags out Jack Cust #32 of the Oakland Athletics on a double attempt in the sixth inning during a Major League Baseball game on May 10, 2009 at the Oakland Coliseum in Oakland, California. (Photo by Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images)

Is it possible for a ballplayer to hit his prime at age 33? History would say no, but Marco Scutaro would answer yes.

Scutaro, shortstop for the Toronto Blue Jays, is currently 33 and yet is somehow playing the best baseball of his eight-year MLB career. How is this possible? Well, to figure out how he is doing this you first have to look at what he is doing differently.

The biggest difference between this year and the rest of his career is his walk total. Through the first 42 games of the season Scutraro already has 35 walks. His career high is 57 BBs in 147 games last year. But why did he start to be so selective now?

Some might say he is older and more experienced and that could be possible. However he is doing it, it is working. The fact is, since he is seeing more pitches, he can wait for just the right one for him to hit. That might explain his five homeruns and .283 batting average (21 points above his career average).

He also has one of the lowest swing and miss percentages in all of the MLB. This shows that he waits for his perfect pitch, if he never gets it he will take one of his 35 walks. If he does, he will hit it solidly.

Scutaro is also playing gold glove worthy at short stop. Through the first month and a half of the season he is still errorless. But the biggest stat for Scutaro is his AL league leading 36 runs scored. This is easy to account for. When your OBP is over .400 and you are the leadoff hitter for the best offense in baseball you're probably going to score some runs.

This is not luck. Scutaro has found a great approach and he will stick with it for season. Watch out AL east, Marco Scutaro is for real.


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