2011 MLB Comeback Kids: Five 2010 Disappointments to Watch This Year

Nathan PalatskyCorrespondent IIMarch 4, 2011

2011 MLB Comeback Kids: Five 2010 Disappointments to Watch This Year

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    BOSTON - APRIL 07:  Pitcher Jonathan Papelbon #58 of the Boston Red Sox leaves in the 10th inning against the New York Yankees at Fenway Park on April 7, 2010 in Boston, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    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. 

Matt Wieters

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    ST. PETERSBURG - SEPTEMBER 27:  Catcher Matt Wieters #32 of the Baltimore Orioles is congratulated after a victory over the Tampa Bay Rays at Tropicana Field on September 27, 2010 in St. Petersburg, Florida.  (Photo by J. Meric/Getty Images)
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    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. 

Jonathan Broxton

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    PHOENIX, AZ - FEBRUARY 28:  Jonathan Broxton #51 of the Los Angeles Dodgers pitches during spring training at Camelback Ranch on February 28, 2011 in Phoenix, Arizona.  (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
    Harry How/Getty Images

    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. 

Jacoby Ellsbury

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    NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 26:  Jacoby Ellsbury #46 of the Boston Red Sox can't come up with a ball hit by Mark Teixeira (not pictured) of the New York Yankees in the third inning on September 26, 2009 at Yankee Stadium in the Bronx borough of New York City.  (
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    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.

Jason Bay

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    NEW YORK - AUGUST 28:  Jason Bay #44 of the New York Mets looks on from the dugout against the Houston Astros on August 28, 2010 at Citi Field in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Jim McIsaac/Getty Images)
    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    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.  

Derek Jeter

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    TAMPA, FL - FEBRUARY 26:  Shortstop Derek Jeter #2 of the New York Yankees looks over the infield against the Philadelphia Phillies during a Grapefruit League Spring Training Game at George M. Steinbrenner Field on February 26, 2011 in Tampa, Florida.  (P
    J. Meric/Getty Images

    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.