After the news broke of Marco Scutaro signing with the Red Sox, I decided to shoot an e-mail over to Tom from SB Nation's Blue Jays blog, Bluebird Banter, about what kind of player Boston was getting.
Tom only had a couple of years to watch Scutaro but certainly saw him at his best in 2009. Tom described Scutaro as a 'heck of a player' and predicts good things with Fenway Park as his new home. The full text is after the jump.
I'll admit I'm a big fan of Scutaro. You are getting a heck of a player. While I don't think this past season was a fluke, I'd guess that he won't be quite as good in the future but with a 4.4 WAR last year, he can drop a bit and still be worth a lot more than you are paying him. Defensively, I think you'll be surprised at how good he is, when you get to watch him every day. He makes all the plays a shortstop is supposed to and he'll make a highlight reel play now and then. His UZR doesn't look great, for last year, at 0.3 but it dropped a lot in the last month when he tried to keep playing on a bad heel.
Offensively, before the season I wasn't thrilled that the Jays planned to use him as a leadoff hitter but he took to the role amazingly well. He took more pitches than any Jay player. He took 90 walks on the season and yet when he got a pitch he liked he could turn on it. He had 12 homers and 35 doubles, with the Monster so close, I'd expect him to have more doubles.
Beyond the numbers, Scoot is a very heads up player. My favorite moment of the past season was him taking second on a walk against the Phillies. The is a gif of it here:
He is a very hard worker, I was at a 3 game series in Seattle and watched fielding practice, he was the last player off the field each day. And he's a lot of fun, he's always smiling, happy to be playing baseball. Much the way I think you and I would be if we could make that much money playing a kid's game. The TV cameras often would catch him kissing his bat after a homer or playing and laughing with his teammates. Maybe he can make Youkillis act like a normal human being. Yeah I know, too much to hope for.
I don't have anything really bad to say about him. His defensive and offensive numbers took a tumble with the heel troubles at the end of the year. I guess there is the worry that the heel problems will come back. He isn't going to become a power hitter or steal a lot of bases (10 to 20 at best), but he'll do what's asked of him.
Now this is the kind of baseball player that I love. From everything Tom has said, I'm starting to feel much better about our new acquisition. Maybe this is part of the reason why Theo was so sold on Scutaro: he's a team-first kind of guy that could "glue" the Sox together.
I love the hustle. Just look at the .gif above! That's heads up. I think Scutaro and Dustin Pedroia are going to get along quite well. I can't wait to see that first double play turned between the two.