MLB Players Poised for Power Surges in 2013
Every season there are some MLB players who see their power numbers climb seemingly out of nowhere.
Edwin Encarnacion, Billy Butler and Chase Headley all finished with career-highs in home runs last season by a large margin.
In 2013, despite the fact that home run totals continue to decline, different players will emerge as the new crop of sluggers.
Here are three players that are poised for power surges in 2013.
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Brett Lawrie has potential to be one of the game's top sluggers.
Lawrie managed to leave the yard only 11 times in over 500 at-bats last year, but don't let that mislead you. He is only 22 years old and hasn't even come close to blossoming into the player that he will become.
Lawrie might not have the prototypical build that most power hitters possess like Prince Fielder, Mark Trumbo or Giancarlo Stanton, but he has the strength and bat speed to one day have his name mentioned amongst the top sluggers.
Since he is still years away from his prime, it would not be surprising to see Lawrie's home run total remain in the teens at the end of 2013. However, it also wouldn't be surprising to see him make that jump and finish the season with at least 25 home runs.
Lawrie's time will come eventually.
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Shin-Soo Choo has been the model of consistency throughout his MLB career.
Choo hit at least .300 during his first three full seasons with the Cleveland Indians, and has averaged nearly 20 home runs in each year where he compiled at least 500 at-bats.
After being traded to the Cincinnati Reds during the offseason, his power numbers should only continue to grow.
The Great American Ball Park is known to have hitter-friendly dimensions. The right-field foul poll is only 325 feet down the line, so the left-handed Choo should fit right in once he officially puts on a Reds uniform.
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Pablo Sandoval has always possessed the raw power that makes baseball scouts salivate, but there was always something preventing him from becoming that power hitter that everyone expected.
After hitting 25 home runs during his first full season in the majors, his total dropped to just 13 the following year due to weight problems.
The following season, with weight issues being nothing more than the past, Sandoval hit five home runs in the first month of the season before breaking his right hamate bone, which is an injury notorious for sapping power.
Coincidentally, it was the same story in 2012 when Sandoval broke his hamate bone in the other wrist.
With a track record of weight issues and two broken bones in each of his wrists, it's easy to look over Sandoval as a potential 30-35 home-run type of player.
However, despite these obstacles, Sandoval has been able to put his raw power on display at times. Case in point, his three home runs in Game 1 of the 2012 World Series.
Oh, and Sandoval's recent power surge has continued during the offseason with this moonshot to help give the Navegantes a 11-9 victory.
If Sandoval can stay healthy for 150 games in 2013, 30 home runs is definitely in the realm of possibility.