Thursday, November 18, 2010

Is Luke Scott on the verge of a breakout season?

.280+ BA, .60+ BB/K, .10+ BB/PA, 20 AB/HR or less (batting title qualifiers, 2010)
Albert Pujols
Miguel Cabrera
Adrian Gonzalez
Joey Votto
Paul Konerko
Luke Scott

On this list, we have 4 of the top 6 HR sluggers in baseball (Pujols, Cabrera, Votto, Konerko), 5 of the top 15 (add in Gonzalez), and Luke Scott (tied with 3 others for 28th).  Luke Scott finished with a respectable 27 HR (especially in only 131 games), and it was his career high (in his 6th year and 4th full season). 

How many players achieved this in 2009? 12
Pujols, Mauer, Zobrist, A-Rod, Utley, Fielder, Teixeira, Derrek Lee, Votto, Tulowitzki, Youkilis, Zimmerman

It was more common in 2009 (and probably past years as well), but the names make the point: it's something elite players so (Zobrist was the one fluke on the list).  Luke Scott is not an established star, but he also didn't come out of nowhere. 

His BA, power, walk and strikeout numbers have been good and improving over the past few years.  He is 32, so his trajectory isn't the same as Joey Votto, but he could be on the cusp of finally becoming an elite hitter.  To see a couple of late bloomers, just look at the 2010 Phillies with Raul Ibanez and Jayson Werth.

If Scott can stay off the disabled list (1 stint in 2010), he'll probably hit more than 30 home runs for the first time in his career and maybe help lead the Orioles to their first .500 season since 1997.


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