UmpBump.com's Nick Kapur on one of the more surprising players in the majors this season:
- Piping hot from the Department of Small Sample Size, Blue Jays shortstop Marco Scutaro, of all people, has a .927 OPS one month into the season.
Many people have noticed his eye-popping 5 home runs in a single month, but considering that his previous career high for an entire season is a mere 9 homers, the power surge is not very likely to continue.
But what is more interesting is that one month in, Scutaro [already] has 22 walks, good for second best in the Major Leagues, behind only Jason Bay's 23.
What makes Scutaro's walk total so amazing is that he was never all that much of a walker before -- his highest single season total was 57, set last year, and his career 162-game average is a mere 52.
But at present, the 33-year-old Scutaro is on pace to walk 149 times this year, which is the kind of walk rate that would put a man up there with the all time greats.
I will submit that no player in the history of the majors has, at 33, essentially tripled his walk rate.
I might be wrong. There might be one or two or three players who have done exactly that. But I will submit that Scutaro is not likely to become the second (or third, or fourth, or whatever).
Kapur also writes that "the Blue Jays got a steal in a player they essentially got from the Oakland A's for a box of crackerjacks." I can't argue with that. After the 2007 season, the A's traded Scutaro to the Jays for minor leaguers Graham Godrey and Kristian Bell, both of whom look to be nearly as far from the majors right now as you or I.
Forget about 149 walks. The Blue Jays have a super-utility player with a bit of pop and a .329 career on-base percentage. Those guys are worth having, and I suspect the A's would love to have him back right now.
(H/T: BBTF's Baseball Newsstand)