There’s No Way Scutaro Repeats This Stat In 2010

Marco Scutaro Ain't Repeating this stat for the Boston Red Sox in 2010

Marco Scutaro was good on 0-2 counts in 2009. Almost too good….

Premise

Some basic research carried out by esteemed author and sports writer Joe Posnanski concludes that MLB batters averaged the following line (avg/obp/slg): .162/.173/.236 from 2000 – 2008 on 0-2 counts via action pitches. Joe’s definition of action pitches from his study:

By action pitch, I mean pitch where something happened: Hit, walk, error, hit-by-pitch, sacrifice, strikeout, groundout, flyout, lineout and every other goofy thing you might see on the APBA unusual play charts.

Marco Scutaro on 0-2 Counts

In 2009 Marco Scutaro hit an amazing line of .364/.353/.576 ! (OBP is lower than average due to a sacrifice fly (sf), which is counted as a negative in the OBP equation). This included a way out there BABIP of .458. The sample is relatively small but Marco laced out 12 hits in his 33 at-bats. If he produced at MLB average he would have just over 5.

I wanted to compare Marco with a couple of ‘above’ replacement level hitters. Ok, way above replacement… Joe Mauer and Albert Pujols. Here are their respective stat lines with 0-2 counts in 2009

Mauer – .256/.256/.282 – BABIP .303

Pujols – .196/.208/.413 – BABIP .273

Delving back into Scutaro, here are his 0-2 count lines from the previous three seasons.

2008
.148/.148/.259 (.407 OPS) BABIP .176
2007
.160/.192/.280 (.472 OPS) BABIP .214
2006
.143/.143/.143 (.286 OPS) BABIP .250

WARNING: Fuzzy math ahead

While he clearly improved at the plate in 2009, I’m going to say that Marco’s 2009 0-2 success is a statistical aberration based upon the 2000-2008 MLB average, his prior three year average and the comparison to Mauer & Pujols.

Now for the fuzzy math. I went back and replaced Scutaro’s actual line of .364/.353/.576 with his prior three year split 0-2 average of .150/.156/.227. His overall 2009 OPS dropped 30 points! The fuzzy math 2009 stat line with replaced 0-2 count stats is now:

.270/.369/.390 for a .759 OPS

In the end the Jays essentially traded Marco for Gonzalez, draft picks and cost savings. This trade-off will look pretty sweet if Marco goes back to being human on 0-2 counts in 2010.

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has written for mopupduty.com since 2006. Follow Matthias on Twitter, Facebook and Google +

  • Ian

    .364 with an 0-2 count? His patience and ability to fight off pitches behind in the count was incredible.

    Really goes to show you that the Blue Jays got their money’s worth (and more) from Scutaro in 2009.

  • Wow. Excellent post. Had no idea Scutaro was producing like that down 0-2. Pretty impressive. The Jays will certainly miss him at the top of the order.