Jose Bautista: Biggest Question Mark of All, One of 9 Players to Watch in 2k11

Ryan SternContributor IFebruary 23, 2011

A frequent scene at the Rogers Centre last season
A frequent scene at the Rogers Centre last season

It is hard to argue that Jose “Giuseppe” Bautista is 2011’s Biggest Question Mark. This is a big accomplishment. Josh Hamilton has won the award before, though his talent was never in doubt. Bautista presents easily the most difficult-to-surmise season of all MLB players in 2010.

Giuseppe throttled 54 jacks last year, more than any player in baseball.  His average was barely mediocre (.260), but still a good 20 points above his career number. His OBP hit .378, which was a solid 35 points above his previous number, but his slugging was the big jump, obviously.

A career .400 slugger going into last season, he added a full 50 percent-plus to that stat by slugging .617. His OPS was nearly 1,,000 (995) and his strikeouts were higher than ever (116). Granted, he walked 100 times, which nearly doubled his prior high from 2007 (68), but the jump from 12-15 jacks a year to 54, from 60 RBIs to 120, is about as unforeseen as any season any player has ever had.

He truly had the biggest jump from nowhere of any player, perhaps in baseball history.

Of course, questions abound: Did Giuseppe spend a lot of time with Victor Conte, Gary Sheffield and Barry Bonds?  Did he take the boner juice Manny Ramirez took back in 2009? Did Bautista partake in Edinson Volquez’s fertility drugs?  Does Toronto have some kind of food the rest of the world is unaware of?

None of these questions have answers and like Bill O’Reilly’s curiosity and amazement over the moon's origination, some may never be answered.

Rest assured, there is no chance in hell that Bautista hits 50 jacks this year, no chance in hell he walks 100 times and no chance in hell he slugs .617. That is as lead pipe guarantee as exists on Earth.

The guy may rake 30-35 bombs, but if he hits 54, I expect a full shutdown of MLB offices while an investigation takes place.