Scouting Report: Jonathan Lucroy

Over the weekend owners in two-catcher formats got a new name to ponder, the Brewers Jonathan Lucroy.  With Greg Zaun going on the DL, the Brewers recalled Lucroy, who Baseball America ranked their fifth best prospect heading into the season.

Splitting time between Double and Triple-A, he posted the following line in 2010:

122 At Bats
.311 Batting Average (38 Hits)
2 Home Runs
16 RBI
16 Runs
0 Stolen Bases
.349 On Base Percentage
.418 Slugging Percentage
.350 Batting Average on Balls in Play

For a player with little speed and power, it’s hard to imagine being able to maintain that lofty of a BABIP.  Right off the bat, you would have to think that the batting average, which is his one redeeming quality for fantasy owners, is unrealistic.

There is a little bit of an upside, however.  He has a tremendous eye at the plate.  The 2007 third round draft choice has an 11.3% walk rate over his minor league career, compared to a 16.3% strikeout rate.  Those numbers helped lead to a .298 career minor league average, but again, with a .334 BABIP, it’s unlikely that he can maintain that type of average in the major leagues.

The power appears to be nonexistent.  For his minor league career he had just a 39.1% fly ball rate.  While he hit 20 HR between two levels of Single-A in 2008, he hit just 9 at Double-A in 2009 and again was showing little power at the upper levels in 2010.

 Baseball America described him prior to the season by saying:

“He has a good approach and a short swing, squares the ball up and has solid gap power. He has a career .380 on-base percentage and walked more than he struck out in 2009.”

Gap power…  That’s just not what you say about a player who possesses a lot of power.

Without the power and with a likely increased strikeout rate (it wouldn’t be a shocking to see it jump to around 20%), seeing him hit .300 would be a huge surprise.  Even if he were to hit .275 or so, he’s not likely to have the power or run production, should he stay in the lineup, to be anything more then a low-end fantasy option.

As it is, once Zaun returns, it would be surprising to see Lucray stay with the major league club considering their are concerns surrounding his defense.  Even if he were to stay, the other names I discussed when talking about Jorge Posada (click here to view) appears much more appealing at this point.

What about you?  Is Lucroy someone who you would consider?  Why or why not?

Make sure to check out other recent Scouting Reports:

7 comments

  1. M J says:

    Give me LuCroy over Castro. I disagree with your batting average assessment. I believe he could be a .300/.375/.425 hitter in the majors. He does not possess great power, but should be able to hit 10-15 per season.

    Milwaukee needs a catcher, and I think LuCroy will be their answer for good next season.

    But if you are looking for a catching prospect with more power potential and more upside look no further than Will Myers. The only question with him as with any catching prospect is will he stick.

  2. GT says:

    Let’s go to the tape…

    2010 – AAA Nashville
    Lucroy vs. Righties – 15/57 (.263), 1 hr, 3 BB, 10 SO
    Lucroy vs. Lefties – 4/23 (.174), 1 hr, 0 BB, 4 SO

    Small sample size, sure, but this kid is pretty easy to figure out. They may not have the best bullpens, but every team in the NL central has lefties they can use against Lucroy. He may stick around due to a lack of warm bodies on the Brewers bench, but he will hardly be fantasy relevant.

  3. MJ says:

    “but every team in the NL central has lefties they can use against Lucroy.”

    He’s a right handed batter. Just because he struggled against righties in AAA doesn’t mean he can’t hit them…..

  4. M J says:

    “Just because he struggled against righties”

    Should read “lefties” not “righties”

  5. M J says:

    Rotoprofessor –

    What are your thoughts on Wil Myers and Travis D’Arnaud? These are two catching prospects who I am very high on and believe both have very high ceilings. D’Arnaud is the most likely of the two to remain at catcher since his defense is suppose to be very good. Myers D is still in question, but his bat should play anywhere.

    What are your thoughts on the two? Are you planning on doing any scouting reports on either?

  6. Rotoprofessor says:

    MJ, ask and you shall receive. Give me a few days, but I’ll have full scouting reports out on both of these guys by the end of next week.

  7. M J says:

    Excellent! Thanks.

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