3 MLB Hitters Who Will Suffer Power Outages in 2012

Scott RussellContributor IIFebruary 8, 2012

3 MLB Hitters Who Will Suffer Power Outages in 2012

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    Power outages are unexpected, and everyone is left in the dark wondering what happened.

    When baseball players tap into their "untapped energy sources" and begin to launch home runs at a very high rate, it raises expectations to levels that are often unreachable.

    Fans are caught off guard when their team's slugger goes from hitting 30 home runs one season to less than half of that in the next.

    There are signs that indicate a power outage is approaching. We will look at three players showing signs of power outages in 2012.

Jacoby Ellsbury

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    The ball was flying off of Jacoby Ellsbury's bat as the Red Sox fought to make the playoffs in 2011.

    Ellsbury hit .358 with eight home runs in the last month of the season. He finished the season with 31 bombs and was a consensus MVP candidate.

    Ellsbury hit just 20 home runs in his first three major league seasons combined.

    In 2012, 15-20 home runs is a number that both fans and ownership in Boston would gladly accept. His main contribution will be his speed on the basepaths and ability to get on base in front of the big hitters.

Lance Berkman

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    Lance Berkman was a pleasant surprise in 2011, batting .301 and hitting 31 long balls. Berkman, who turns 36 on Friday, hit 30-plus home runs for the first time since he hit 34 in 2007.

    Thirty-plus home run power is not in Berkman's future. He will be hitting in a lineup without Albert Pujols for the world champion St. Louis Cardinals.

    It is hard to see Berkman exceeding last year's production, especially in terms of power numbers.

    Expect the amount of power generated by Berkman to decline sharply in 2012.

Curtis Granderson

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    Curtis Granderson hit 41 home runs in 2011, but look for that number to decline sharply in 2012.

    The Grandy-Man has acknowledged slight swing changes as the reason for increased power. While that may be true, his confidence had a lot to do with his output a season ago.

    Granderson was hitting balls into the stands with great regularity. Pitchers kept throwing the ball in his sweet spot, somewhere a pitcher clearly cannot go against him.

    Coming off of a career high in the statistic, look for Granderson to struggle to reach 30 home runs this season.