As a player owed in just 2% of Yahoo! leagues, Luke Scott can be an attractive option for teams in need of power from the utility or first base spot. His availability depends on the league, I own him in a CBS league where he only can be played as a utility option but in a Yahoo! league where he can be played at first as well. For reference, he played six games at first base last year.
The Rays currently have the sixth highest walk percentage in the game, and fourth highest in the American League. With few offensive stars, the Rays have developed one of the leagues strongest offenses with a patient approach that has amassed a team wide 110 wRC+. Luke Scott, in his 89 plate appearances this year, has adopted this approach as well with a 14.6% walk rate against last years lackluster 6.1% mark. He has done so while keeping his strikeouts down at a 22.5% rate, the lowest since his 2010 season with the Orioles.
That season, Scott walked 11.4% while he struck out 19% of the time and he put together a 140 wRC+ and 27 home runs. I do not expect that type of season out of Scott ever again, but he typically performs very well when his walk rate is up and his strikeouts are down. Another point from that season is that his BABIP was .304 for the year, whereas his BABIP the past two seasons has been .250 and .259 respectively. This season, his BABIP is .314. There seems to be at least some correlation between his plate discipline, performance, and a high (for him) BABIP.
The season is still young for Scott, who was injured for all of April. He could absolutely revert back to the struggles he has seen the past two seasons, but if these peripherals remain strong he should be solid candidate to continue to produce behind the heart of the Rays order. ZiPS has Scott at .244/.322/.439 with 10 home runs through just 237 remaining plate appearances. That would certainly be worthwhile as a power option in such a low amount of games played, and Scott is always an easy player to drop if he does get injured.
If you are searching around the waiver wire for cheap power, especially in daily leagues where you can start him against only right-handed hitters, Scott is an easy guy to target. He has been a consistent power threat throughout his career and the Rays coaching staff has helped revive Kelly Johnson and James Loney this season as well. If Scott’s patient approach remains intact, expect him to have a solid year as the left-handed DH option in Tampa Bay.
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