Luke Scott has never been an All-Star in the bigs, and at 35-years old, there’s a pretty good chance that he’s going to go through his major league career without ever taking part in the Midsummer Classic.
That doesn’t mean he can’t hit like one, though.
As the Tampa Bay Rays are finding out, emulation of the best in the game can sometimes be just as good as the real thing … which is to say that their DH has recently caught fire as the attention of the baseball world turns towards the the All-Star break. Scott is carrying a modest four game hitting streak heading into play on Tuesday, giving him a .467/.529/.933 triple-slash through a small sample of 15 at-bats.
Ending it there would be a little too easy, however; he’s actually been on a roll since prior to the turn of the calendar month, and has hit in eight of his last 10 games. He didn’t get that 1.064 OPS over his last 14 games with a Josh Hamilton-style singles hitting streak either, as he’s hit a pair of home runs along with four doubles and even a triple in that span.
That, by the way, is three times the number of doubles he hit through the entire month of May.
It might have taken him a little while due to him being slowed by health issues, but the veteran might finally be finding that consistent power stroke that the Rays were looking for when they went for a value deal to replace outgoing three-outcome hitter Carlos Pena.
Though Scott might not have that kind of home run prowess, the season-high 33.3 percent line-drive rate for July suggests that there might still be some of that bat from the days of his youth. In fact, thanks to his recent surge, his season line-drive rate is now up to 20.2 percent on the season, second in his career only to the 24.4 percent he posted as a 28-year old in 2006.
And what did he do that year? Oh, he just put up a .336/.426/.621 line over 249 PA, that’s all.
The Rays can’t reasonably expect that kind of production on a consistent basis, of course, which would explain Scott’s lack of All-Star credentials. That said, even with much more measured expectations, the team is probably happy to see that the veteran is finally making good on his make-good deal signed a couple of seasons ago.