Facts & Flukes

Jeffrey
Tomich
February 16, 2012 12:01 AM GMT
Those expecting big power numbers from Aaron Hill (2B, ARI) last year were sorely disappointed. The same player who connected for 36 HRs two seasons ago managed just eight homers in 520 ABs between Toronto and Arizona. Meanwhile, he stole as many bags as he did during the previous five years combined. His average has seen wild swings over the past few seasons, too.
Dave
Adler
February 15, 2012 12:01 AM GMT
2011 was a lost year for Joe Mauer (C, MIN). He had arthroscopic surgery on his knee in the offseason, and then missed two months of the first half with leg weakness. Signs are good that Mauer can return to his previous form.
Brent
Hershey
February 14, 2012 12:01 AM GMT
Though an ill-advised pickup basketball game cost him a month worth of starts, Zack Greinke (RHP, MIL) bounced back and completed a fine first season in Milwaukee—16 wins and a sub-4.00 ERA. Those stats, though, didn't do justice to his phenomenal skills season of 2011.
Dan
Becker
February 13, 2012 12:01 AM GMT
JJ Hardy put together a career year in 2011 by applying the strong batting skills he'd shown in the past in conjunction with logging 500+ ABs for the first time since 2008. Even after missing a month with an oblique strain, Hardy made the most of his new home in hitter-friendly Camden Yards by posting terrific offensive numbers, particularly in terms of power.
Joe
Hoffer
February 11, 2012 12:01 AM GMT
It must be daunting to be Clayton Kershaw (LHP, LA). How does he top a season where he won the pitching Triple Crown, the National League Cy Young Award, and Gold Glove? We don't know, but we wouldn't suggest betting against him.
Thomas
Kephart
February 10, 2012 12:01 AM GMT
Howie Kendrick has established himself as a solid 2B option, but can he retain his 2011 power gains?
Joe
Hoffer
February 03, 2012 12:00 AM GMT
We might not recognize Marlon Byrd (OF, CHC) when he reports to Mesa, Arizona for spring training. According to mlb.com, the Cubs centerfielder has combined intense martial arts workouts with a dietary program that has helped him slim down from the 255 pounds he weighed at the end of 2011 to a svelte 215 today ...
Dave
Adler
January 27, 2012 12:00 AM GMT
While he wasn’t guaranteed a rotation slot in spring training, Brandon McCarthy (RHP, OAK) took advantage of an opportunity and made a positive impression. It was more than just his home park that led to the solid performance.
Dan
Becker
January 20, 2012 12:00 AM GMT
Hart's power breakout of 2010 carried over to 2011 and his 2H numbers suggest he still has room to grow. The trade-off in the last two years for this added pop has been waning opportunities on the bases and that trend may continue. With Prince Fielder likely gone and Ryan Braun facing a 50 game suspension, Hart will find himself in the middle of the order as the Brewers will be more reliant on his bat than his legs.
Thomas
Kephart
January 13, 2012 12:00 AM GMT
Will Pujols rebound as he switches leagues? ... Albert Pujols' (1B, LAA) 2011 production slipped to its lowest level since 2007. What should we expect as Pujols switches leagues for the first time?
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