Why Marco Scutaro’s Stats Don’t Add Up

Why Marco Scutaro’s Stats Don’t Add Up

John Hale over at the highly recommended Mockingbird today asked the question whether Marco Scutaro is for real?

In his post he showcased an ESPN Insider stat that listed Marco #2 in the MLB in the stat of well-hit pct of swings. He then went on to question Marco’s BABIP vs average and wondered if Marco was a very unlucky hitter throughout his career.

This left me wondering myself. Marco always posts a 20% Line Drive percentage, yet his BABIP is always under .300 (it should be higher). Something has to give. At first I thought that he may be hitting a high percentage of groundballs, which would explain the well-hit swings to BABIP ratio. But that wasn’t the case.

My next hunch is probably the answer. Here is a hit chart (using only singles for simplification) of Marco’s 2008 season at the Rogers Centre.


His flyouts (big pockets in CF & RF)


Finally groundouts (huge pocket at SS)


These images illustrate some real contact “pockets”. This leads me to believe that even with a high percentage of linedrives and “well-hit swings” Marco is very easy to defend in terms of positioning. And this would go a long way in explaining why someone with a very high LD% year in and year out isn’t “finding the holes” in the defense.

With this said Marco is still a good hitter and he’s having a great start to the season. I’m not trying to hate on him, he’s one of my favorite Jays. Its just that judging from these charts his LD% will probably never ‘click’ with his BABIP like it should.

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