2011 MLB Comeback Kids: Five 2010 Disappointments to Watch This Year
The 2010 season was not what it was supposed to be for many major league baseballers. Remember the preseason hype? Kyle Blanks was supposed to hit 30 HR, even is spacious PetCo. Jonathan Broxton was supposed to save 50 with an ERA under one.
This is a look at five of those disappointments who have a chance to surge in 2011, back to the upper echelon at their positions.
At 24, Wieters was supposed to light up the world at the catcher position. Some experts projected him in the top five at the position. He was smart enough to handle the staff like a veteran and had major pop in the bat.
Wieters went on to bat .249 with 11 HR, and 55 RBI. He struggled at times with calling games, but learned as the season went on. Now, in 2011, he will be hitting in a loaded lineup, with plenty of runners on base. Expect the average and RBI to climb significantly, and he has an outside shot at 20 HR.
What in the world happened to Broxton? In 2009, he had 36 saves, with a 2.61 ERA, .961 WHIP and 13.5 K/9. In 2010, his ERA shot up to 4.04, WHIP was 1.476, he only converted 22 saves, and struck out 10.5 per nine.
The Dodgers are giving him first crack at the closer job again. Word is that he has at least until May to prove he still has what it takes. Don't expect 2009 numbers again, but 30+ saves, 3.00 ERA, 1.20 WHIP and 10 K/9 is easily possible.
You try sprinting with a rib injury. This guy is no wimp. Unfortunately, he tried to return too soon, and 2010 turned out to be a total loss. In 2009, he led the league with 70 steals, and he batted .301.
He is only 27 years old, and is batting in an unbelievable lineup. If Boston is smart, and bats him and Crawford 1-2, then Ellsbury could grab huge steals and runs scored, with a very good average. If he is batting ninth, look for steals in the 40s and runs in the 90s. Still, a bounce-back is almost inevitable.
That picture is Bay watching another of his home runs get caught on the warning track. Citi Field swallowed Bay up, as it did with many Mets last season. And then he got hurt and fell out of sight. Bay was a top outfielder going into 2010, but he managed just .259 and six home runs in 95 games.
Don't forget, with 36 HR and 119 RBI in 2009, he only batted .267. He isn't a great fielder, so his value is largely dependent on driving runs in. If he can't adjust to Citi Field, Bay will have trouble regaining career form.
But vets make a living on such adjustments. Look for Bay to be around .275, sacrificing some home runs for gap shots and average. He could get 15 HR, and 80 RBI as well.
Since 2005 (his 31-year-old season), Jeter's batting averages have been .309, .343, .322, .300, .334, and .270. Which one doesn't fit?
As horrible as his 2010 was, he was still fourth in all of baseball with 111 runs scored. He also managed 18 stolen bases, and was second in baseball in at bats, so his health isn't a concern.
He has been between 10-20 HR since 2005 so I'd expect something around 13, but couple that with 15 SB, and an average in the .300-.310 range, and there is a quality season from a 36-year-old shortstop.