Tuesday, February 2, 2010

The Crystal Ball '10: Luke Scott

Now that Miguel Tejada has returned to the Orioles, there has been a lot of talk that he will be the de facto clean up hitter. But this isn't 2004. Tejada is not a slugger anymore. But Luke Scott is.

While batting orders are overrated in general, the classic wisdom wants your most powerful hitter in the clean up spot. The most powerful hitter on the Oriole roster is Luke Scott. He led the team in slugging in 2009 and if not for Aubrey Huff's career season and Mora's last gasp of baseball life in 2008, he would have led the team in slugging in 2008 too.

But he has posted an ISO (you know how I love ISO) north of .200 for the past two seasons and no other player on the roster has done that. If fact, since 2005 Scott has an ISO of .231, tied with Matt Holliday and ahead of hitters like Adrian Gonzalez, Dan Uggla, Vlad Guerrero and Curtis Granderson. He is an excellent power hitter and just on the cusp of levels that could be called elite (he's 26th since 2005...). Raw power? Scott's got plenty of it.

But for all the power he displays, Scott has hit cleanup only a handful of times since joining the team. For 2008, I can understand it as Huff was on fire and slugging .522. But last year? Only 8 games as the cleanup hitter. Scott is a flawed hitter. But he has the most important attribute for a guy hitting #4 in your lineup. Raw power.

A sample lineup:

1.  Brian Roberts
2.  Nick Markakis
3.  Adam Jones
4.  Luke Scott
5. Nolan Reimold
6. Matt Wieters
7. Miguel Tejada
8. Garret Atkins
9. Cesar Izturis

Who else is a better option? As they stand now, only Scott is a real threat to slug .500 and ISO north of .200. There's no reason not to plug him in and let him drive those runners in. So let's give him a shot and watch him rack up the RBI.

Photo by Keith Allison and used under the Creative Commons License 2.0

1 comment:

math_geek said...

Replace Atkins with Pie and that lineup is a thing of beauty. It would go


No consecutive batters from the same side. Man I wish Trembley would let Reimold or Scott play 1st.