By orleanscardinals at 7 June, 2009, 7:56 pm
Red Sox fans requested David Ortiz come out for a standing ovation when he hit his second home run of the season Saturday night. The dedication of the Red Sox faithful masks the reality of Ortiz’s astounding drop off in power and average.
Photo: Brian Snyder/Reuters
Fortunately for Big Papi, he’s not the only major league slugger facing a home run drought this year. Here’s a look at ten more players who’ve been disappointments in the power department thus far this season (listed in alphabetical order).
Bobby Abreu …2 HR’s
Abreu’s .300 batting average and 15 stolen bases help make up for only 2 HR’s thus far this season but it’s a far cry from the hitter who knocked in 20 or more home runs in eight of the past ten years.
Garrett Atkins …5 HR’s
Atkins’ season has been such a disappointment that management has talked about a demotion to Triple-A to right the ship. 2 HR’s last Thursday should help but the player who was suppose help alleviate the Rockies’ loss of Matt Holiday is still hitting under .200 for the season.
Pat Burrell …1 HR
Pat Burrell’s move to the AL East has not gone as planned. Currently on the disabled list and having hit only one home run all year, Burrell has a long way to go for a player who’s averaged nearly 28 HR’s per season for his career.
Vladimir Guerrero …1 HR
While an injury to Guerrero’s pectoral muscle certainly has not helped, the historically great slugger has only hit 1 home run in 74 at-bats. To put this in perspective, Guerrero has hit HR’s every 16.8 at-bats for his career. It seems likely age and injury may finally be catching up.
Derrek Lee …6 HR’s
Like Guerrero, Derrek Lee is another slugger who may be past his prime. Six home runs is respectable but a far cry from the 43 Lee hit in 2005. Injuries to the rest of the Cubs’ lineup (and lack of performance from others like Geovany Soto, see below) have not helped protect Lee at the plate as well.
Russell Martin …0 HR’s
While Russell Martin can not be considered a “slugger”, having no home runs and still hitting in the heart of the Dodger lineup certainly seems like a surprise. Perhaps the historic workload at catcher is finally catching up (no pun intended).
Magglio Ordonez …2 HR’s
While Ordonez’ batting average has started to creep up (.315 in May) the power is missing. Ordonez has only hit 2 HR’s and 8 doubles and is on pace to hit well less than 100 RBI, which has only happened twice (not including two injury shortened seasons in 2004 and 2005) since 1998.
Geovany Soto …2 HR’s
Last year’s Rookie of the Year is off to a horrible start, having only hit 2 HR’s thus far this year (he hit 5 in April alone of 2008). It’s gotten bad enough that Lou Piniella has started giving Soto “mental breathers” in hopes of awakening the catcher’s bat.
B.J. Upton …3 HR’s
Upton’s post season explosion left many to believe his 9 home run 2008 campaign was the anomaly and shoulder surgery would bring back the power everyone expects. Thus far, with only 3 HR’s, a .220 batting average, and 62 strikeouts in 200 at-bats, Upton has a long way to go to fulfill the expectations set forth at the beginning of the season.
David Wright …3 HR’s
It’s hard to complain when Wright is hitting well over .300 and has an OBP of .440 through 50+ games. However Wright has also hit 30 HR’s or more the past two seasons and 26 or more over the past four. That said, as long as he still produces in the clutch (.357 with RISP), I’m sure the Mets won’t complain that much.