Marco has been handed the 2B job of the Rockies after being traded by Boston for Clayton Mortenson. Scutaro has put up decent numbers averaging about 10 HRs and a 0.285 AVG with Boston over the last 2 seasons. While the 36-year-old is not a spring chicken, he projects to hit around 0.275 with 9 HRs.
While he is not an offensive power by any means, he is better than what the Rockies recycled through the 2B spot in 2011. They tried 7 different players at 2B last season. The seven players had a 0.256/0.304/0.351 triple slash line compared to the N.L. average for 2B of 0.258/0.319/0.380. Scutaro looks to be a significant improvement at 2B for the Rockies.
One huge factor in determining his 2012 value will be where he bats in the Rockies lineup. Currently, MLB DepthCharts has him batting 2nd. If this position ends up being true, he will be a nice source of Runs with Gonzalez, Tulowitzki and Helton hitting behind him. The hitters in the 2nd spot for Colorado, scored 92 runs in 2011 while hitting worse than Scutaro projects to hit. If hitting 2nd and playing in at least 85% of the games, I would put a floor on his runs scored at 80.
One downfall for him is that he is only currently qualified at SS to start the 2012 season. In most leagues, It will take 10 to 20 games for him to get 2B eligibility. If picked in a deep league, his owner will need to make sure they have another 2B eligible player to fill in for him to start the season. With SS being a thinner position than 2B, I could see him being picked to be used as a SS instead of a 2B. The best use I could see for him is as bench player in a shallow league they fills in for either 2B or SS on off days or takes over permanently for a injured player.
The Cardinals 2B position is not currently filled, but Daniel Descalso and Tyler Greene look to be the front runners to fill the vacancy. Allen Craig should be in the mix, but he is injured and projects to be back sometime between early May and July. Daniel and Greene both may get a shot at the 2B job, but neither may have the ability to keep it.
The 28-year-old Greene has put up a triple slash line of 0.218/0.307/0.313 in 359 MLB PAs. He did hit better in the minors (0.270/0.346/0.449) though. From the hitting perspective, he looks like a poor man’s Drew Stubbs (decent HR-SB guy with low average because of a high K rate). Over the last 4 seasons, he has put up double digit HRs and SBs in each season. Also he has a BB% rate above 10% and a K% around 25%.
Descalso has done better in his 412 MLB PAs with a 0.264/0.333/0.350 slash line. The 25-year-old has put up similar numbers to Greene’s minor league numbers (0.276/0.347/0.406) with the older Greene having a slight edge in power. Besides not hitting for much power or AVG, he will produce few SBs (3 so far in his MLB career).
Descalso may get the initial nod at 2B because of his better MLB numbers. I could see a platoon situation develop though. The right-handed-hitting Greene has had problems with with both handed pitchers (0.213/0.333/0.262 vs RHP, 0.209/0.306/0.326 vs LHP). The left-handed-hitting Descalso has displayed an inability to hit LHP (0.280/0.347/0.377 vs RHP, 0.190/0.277/0.241 vs LHP). The best solution for the Cardinals may be to platoon them to get the production of a below average 2B.
In shallow leagues, I would just stay away from this pair completely. In NL-only or deeper leagues, owners will need to make sure they draft a 2B before even considering drafting either one of these two. One option I do like is to pick up Allen Craig and place him in an open DL slot. An owner can see if they can maintain him there until he comes back from the DL.
Jeff, one of the authors of the fantasy baseball guide,The Process, writes for RotoGraphs, The Hardball Times, Rotowire, Baseball America, and BaseballHQ. He has been nominated for two SABR Analytics Research Award for Contemporary Analysis and won it in 2013 in tandem with Bill Petti. He has won three FSWA Awards including on for his MASH series. In his first two seasons in Tout Wars, he's won the H2H league and mixed auction league. Follow him on Twitter @jeffwzimmerman.