It’s the offseason now, so I wanted to try something different that I haven’t done in the past, and as I began writing this article, it quickly became apparent that this was going to be a big big article. So I’ve made the decision to break it up, and publish it in parts. So here is part two! Enjoy!
Kelly Johnson vs Marco Scutaro
While Marco Scutaro didn’t spend the whole season with the Giants, he played one of the biggest roles on the team late in the season, and was one of their MVPs throughout the postseason while Kelly Johnson unexpectedly accepted arbitration in the offseason, which quite possibly went against what Alex Anthopoulos had planned.
Acquired in a trade that sent fan favorites Aaron Hill and John Macdonald to the D’Backs in exchange for Kelly Johnson on August 23, 2011, the Blue Jays were hoping a change of scenery would bring Kelly Johnson back to the numbers he posted in 2010 when he had a .284/.370/.496 line with 26 HRs and 36 doubles. While he was unable to match those numbers after his trade, Kelly Johnson was one of the Jays most durable players during 2012.
While playing in 142 games and amassing over 500 at-bats, at certain points during the season he really stepped up and carried the Jays, and showed glimmers of promise that he may reach that 2010 level again, before ultimately falling and ending the season with a .225/.313/.365 triple slash. His 16 HRs, 19 doubles, and 55 RBIs while stealing 14 bases were still far below the 2010 season the Jays were hoping he would return to when they acquired him. The most glaring hole for Kelly Johnson appeared to be the one that was in his bat as he set the Blue Jays single-season strikeout record with 159 Ks. In 2013, Kelly Johnson will not return to the Jays so let’s turn our attention to someone the Giants would love to have back.
The former Jay, Marco Scutaro undoubtedly was everything the Giants could want and more after he was acquired at the trade deadline in a move that, at the time, was unheralded. In the offseason, Scutaro was traded from the Red Sox to the Colorado Rockies but as the Rockies season continued to go off the rails, he was dealt to the Giants on July 27, 2012 for Charlie Culberson.
Despite being traded at the deadline, across the season Marco Scutaro put up a triple slash of .306/.348/.405 in almost 700 plate appearances, including 268 plate appearances for the Giants where he put up an impressive triple slash of .362/.385/.473. While he may not possess the power of Kelly Johnson, Marco Scutaro still hit 7 HRs to go along with his 32 doubles and 74 RBIs and stealing 9 bases. As an aside, Marco Scutaro accomplished one of my all-time favorite Blue Jay memories when he stole second on a walk.When compared to Kelly Johnson, Marco Scutaro looks to have the plate discipline of a god as he only struck out 49 times in 683 plate appearances, compared to Kelly Johnson’s 159 in 102 less plate appearances.
Despite only playing in 61 regular season games for the Giants, the impact Scutaro had on the Giants as they fought for a place in the post-season cannot be overstated. Even without his incredible post-season performance which not only awarded him the NLCS MVP award, but also helped carry his team to their second World Series win in the last three years, it’s pretty easy to see that the point here goes to the Giants.
Result: Point for the Giants.
Score: Jays and Giants tied at 1.
Shortstop: Yunel Escobar vs Brandon Crawford is next!