Mention the name Marco Scutaro to a Red Sox fan and certain images surface – a baseball association linked to a player. Gritty. Determined. Smart baseball instincts. Tough out. Excellent defense. Plenty of positives with the name of the recently retired Scutaro.
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The path to the majors can be long and arduous and it was for the Venezuelan born Scutaro, who signed a contract with the Cleveland Indians in 1994. Eight years later Scutaro played in his first MLB game as a Met after being in two other organizations.
In 2003 and 2004 Scutaro divided time between the Mets and their Triple-A affiliate hitting a meager .216 in 75 games. What was on display was versatility – a great baseball survival skill – and a defensive ability that gets noticed – and it did by Billy Beane, who selected Scutaro off waivers and that started a career that eventually led to Boston and to Giants and an NLCS MVP Award.
Injuries and baseball age caught up and Scuatro finally retired in 2015 with an MLB slash line of .277/.311/.388. In Boston he will be remembered for being the type of player you would want the ball hit to in a critical moment and for some very tough at bats.
Deven Marrero took a different path to MLB as a first round draft pick in 2012 out of Arizona State. That started Marrero’s journey through the Red Sox system and it was one where the glove – as with Scutaro – was well ahead of the bat.
The scouting reports all comment on his solid defensive play, quickness, and with a potential Gold Glove in his future. A few glimpses of that have surfaced with Marrero’s promotion to Boston as a reserve infielder earlier in the season and as a September addition.
At Pawtucket Marrero finished with a slash of .256/.316/.344 with six home runs and 29 RBI. Marrero also stole 12 bases in 17 attempts and is not considered an exceptional speedster, but a savvy base runner. You will not see any stolen base titles in his future.
Marrero is now with Boston through the end of the season and will get in some at bats and play at second, short and a look at third. The variety pack that creates a utility infielder that may just have the versatility and premium glove to grab a spot in Boston or elsewhere.
Sometimes it takes years and Scutaro was not a regular until he was 28-years-old, so expect Marrero to be returned to Pawtucket until a need surfaces – a need that usually requires defense first – and solid defense is a pitcher’s best friend.
Sources: Sox Prospects/MLB Prospect Watch/Baseball-reference
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