At the end of April, Luke Scott was batting just .194 with only two homers. Who knew then he would end the year being named winner of the Louis M. Hatter Most Valuable Oriole award.
“For me, it’s a tremendous honor. It has been a year of a lot of adversity but it’s been a year of a lot of victory for myself and us as a group. We had the opportunity to cash it in and go through the motions the rest of the year. It says a lot about this group of guys in this clubhouse. The character that they have and the honor they have as men and ballplayers.
“I am very thankful to be a part of this group and this team. To be named O’s MVP is a tremendous honor for me personally.”
Entering tonight’s game Scott was 6th in the AL in slugging percentage (.538) and on-base plus slugging (.904) and was 14th in the league in home runs with a career-high and team-leading 27. He also leads the Orioles in slugging percentage and ranks second on the club in RBI (71).
Scott has hit at least 20 home runs in each of his three seasons with the Orioles, tallying 75 homers over the span. The total ranks sixth-most in franchise history for home runs hit in a player’s first three seasons with Baltimore.
So, just what got his season going well after that slow start?
“Just time and the good Lord. I’ve done the same thing as far as working hard every day, getting in the cage with Terry and doing my drills. The rest was just time. Although I wasn’t getting the results then, I never changed my work ethic or attitude and it’s been a good season,” Scott, who is batting .285-27-71, said.
“I’ve been labeled as being streaky. Being labeled as consistent (now) is something I want to establish. To be consistently good. There will be times when you are not getting much to hit, but this year I was able to make some adjustments. Even if I didn’t get a hit, I was taking my walks, taking my singles to the opposite field and becoming a difficult out at the plate.”
Scott said he made one change in his swing mechanics during the year that flattened his swing out more.
“I got rid of all my hand movement and just laid my bat on my shoulder and in my mind just thought of hitting a tree with an ax. When you are flicky with your hands, that type of swing can generate more power, but, if you are not right on time, you tend to roll over a few balls.”
The Most Valuable Oriole Award is named in honor of the late Lou Hatter, a former sportswriter for the Baltimore Sun who covered the Orioles for 27 years. Jeremy Guthrie finished second in the voting by local media and Nick Markakis was third.
Also, manager Buck Showalter was named Favorite New Oriole for 2010 by members of the Oriole Advocates, the non-profit organization that assists the Orioles in numerous public and community relations functions and is dedicated to promoting the game of baseball at both the amateur and professional levels.