Senior citizens, although slow and dangerous behind the wheel can still serve a purpose. - Dumb and Dumber
At 36 years old, Marco Scutaro certainly qualifies as a senior citizen in the fantasy baseball community. While I can’t comment on or defend his abilities behind the wheel, I will say that when it comes to head-to-head (H2H) points leagues, he most certainly still serves a purpose.
Admittedly, much like a New England Patriots wide receiver, I dropped the ball. Too soon, Pats fans? Anyways, it’s true. In my Top 20 SS rankings in January I left off Marco Scutaro. In my defense, I did recognize him in the "Just Missed" portion of the rankings and, at the time, he was still on the Boston Red Sox, slated to bat somewhere in the bottom third of their order while possibly facing a platoon with Mike Aviles. Even still, despite all that, I should not have ignored the points Scutaro has been able to provide fantasy baseball H2H points league owners the last few seasons. Will you ever forgive me? Please?
At the very least, I recognized Scutaro as a potential late-round steal in my 300 ADP 300 Point Hitters post earlier this month. To summarize that post, based on Roto Champ 2012 projections, Scutaro has a current ADP over 300 on Mock Draft Central and should score 300 points this season which would place him as a Top 12 second baseman (he should qualify at 2B shortly into the season) and starter in most H2H points leagues. In case you’re still not convinced that Marco Scutaro merits your attention …
Since the start of the 2009 season, Marco Scutaro has averaged 371 points per year. That’s 71 more than the Roto Champ projections and more than shortstops such as Asdrubal Cabrera, Jhonny Peralta, JJ Hardy, Erick Aybar and Yunel Escobar, each of whom are being drafted much, much higher than Scutaro in 2012. And, because Scutaro should play second base in Colorado, it could be helpful to know he has outscored Rickie Weeks and Howie Kendrick in that time. If Weeks could remain healthy, that wouldn’t be the case, but there’s something to be said for being on the field, especially in a weekly format.
All reports indicate that Scutaro should be in the lineup every day for the Rockies in ’12 and that he should bat second for his new team. If that’s true, then count me in as batting in front of Carlos Gonzalez and Troy Tulowitzki even made Mark Ellis look decent in 2011. In 70 games with Colorado last season, Ellis posted a .274 AVG and 34 runs scored with 6 HR. Assuming Scutaro is able to play in 140 games or more, which he did from 2008-2010, then he should at the very least double Ellis’ production, if not exceed it as I see him as a slightly better player. Not to mention my excitement for Dexter Fowler this season who is slated to lead off in front of Scutaro.
Looking at Baseball Reference, it’s clear his career 11.4 SO% doesn’t quite match that of Carlos Lee (read more here), but, like Lee, it plays a large role in Marco Scutaro’s points league success. Add to that that his BB% has been at or above the MLB average in seven of his 10 seasons, and it’s easy to see how he maintains a solid point total, even if it doesn’t skyrocket to elite levels.
Still not convinced that Marco Scutaro could or should start for your H2H fantasy baseball team? No problem (after all, I did recommend you draft a second baseman very early in this Point Differential post). Just remember that there are a myriad of injury concerns surrounding top second basemen such as Ian Kinsler, Chase Utley and the aforementioned Weeks, while plenty of second base options lack proven track records, including Rickie’s brother Jemile, Dustin Ackley, Jason Kipnis and Danny Espinosa. Whether you go with an injury risk or an unproven youth, there’s no denying that Scutaro makes an excellent late-round backup considering his consistency, lineup, home stadium and 2B/SS eligibility.