Is Scutaro for Real?
The Star published some love in a piece about Scutaro yesterday, and superlative scouting company Inside Edge followed up with some cold hard facts. Nice to see Scoot’s increased patience and discipline in the leadoff role confirmed as something other than facing wild pitchers, but this confuses me:
Despite slugging just .356 with seven home runs in 2008, Scutaro tied for second-best in the league in hard-hit balls per swing, alongside some impressive company…
Hard-hit balls go for a higher BABIP (batting average on balls in play), so even forgetting about power numbers, you would expect Scutaro’s average last year to have been a lot better while he was putting good wood on the ball with the likes of Mauer, Ramirez, Pujols, and errrr…Rios. Especially, when he is also apparently the 9th best in the league at making contact.
But it doesn’t look like an unlucky season, in fact his numbers were almost exactly what his career has predicted of him. So what gives – does Scutaro have some unusual ability to hit balls hard but right at people, or to the track, or is he coming out of the worst spell of bad luck of all time?