Luke Warm Deal: Rays Sign Luke Scott
The Tampa Bay Rays finally warmed up to the idea of signing Luke Scott. Luke Scott signed a 1 year deal that will pay $5 million this season and a club option in 2013 for $6 million, with a $1 million buyout. Many people are against this signing because of Scott's political controversy, but this isn't politics.
The Rays have been missing that power hitting threat ever since Carlos Pena left and joined the Cubs. Luke Scott will be bringing that power bat, but with more productivity. Not counting last year, due to an injury plagued season, here are some of Scott's stats from 2008-2010:
Avg HR RBI BB SO
2010 .284 27 72 59 98
2009 .258 25 77 55 104
2008 .257 23 65 53 102
You can see from these numbers that the power is there and the average can be as well. Most power batters in the MLB strikeout around 150 times a year. Luke Scott averages less than about 50 strikeouts than most players who hit the amount of homeruns he hits. By keeping his strikeouts low, it allows him to have more productive at bats, such as sacrifices and hit and runs. Productive at bats is a huge strength of the Tampa Bay Rays who also use smart speedy base running and timely hits to score runs.
The last thing the Rays need is someone striking out once a game when runs are needed. Think about adding just 30 strikeouts to Scott’s numbers. That is 30 wasted at bats a game. Strikeouts mean nothing! If you at least make contact anything can happen. For example, let’s say it’s a tie game in the bottom of the ninth with two outs and a man on third. If Scott hits a hard ground ball to short, three things must happen; the shortstop has to field the ball cleanly, throw the ball accurately and the first baseman has to catch the ball. If any of those things go wrong, Scott is safe at first and the run scores, Rays win! Now, if Scott strikes out the inning is over and we head into extra innings wasting our bullpen when we might need them tomorrow night. Little things such as making contact and trying to make something happen go a long way with the Tampa Bay Rays.Continued on the next page