Facts & Flukes

Thomas
Kephart
February 24, 2012 1:01 AM GMT
Evan Longoria is coming off a season of reduced value, having lost nearly a month of 2011 with an early-season oblique injury. He also failed to fully translate his skills into production. Can Longoria rebound in 2012?
Jeffrey
Tomich
February 23, 2012 1:01 AM GMT
Brandon Beachy (RHP, ATL) was more than just the latest talented young pitcher to surface in Atlanta over the past two decades. He became the rock in an otherwise fragile Braves starting rotation. But as with any rookie sensation, we're left to wonder if he can improve, sustain—or will he take a step back?
Dave
Adler
February 21, 2012 1:02 AM GMT
It looks like Carl Crawford (OF, BOS) will have to wait a bit to prove that his first season in Boston was a fluke. After arthroscopic wrist surgery in January, he’s likely to miss the first few weeks of the season. It's really no mystery why Crawford's 2011 performance dropped off.
Brent
Hershey
February 21, 2012 1:01 AM GMT
The Cardinals caught a lot of flack last off-season after signing the then 35-year-old Lance Berkman (1B/OF, STL) to play the OF. His durability and production had come into question after a down 2010, but Berkman stayed on the field (including 126 games in the OF) and proved the critics wrong.
Dan
Becker
February 20, 2012 1:01 AM GMT
Amid the high-profile influx of big name first basemen into the American League, Mark Teixeira (1B, NYY) has become somewhat of a forgotten man in the discussion of elite players at the position. It doesn't help matters that Teixeira is coming off two productive but uneven seasons.
Joe
Hoffer
February 18, 2012 1:01 AM GMT
Hanley Ramirez (3B, MIA) would like to forget his 2011 season. A .243 BA with 10 HR and 45 RBI isn't exactly the kind of production we have grown to expect from Ramirez. So what can we expect in 2012?
Thomas
Kephart
February 17, 2012 1:00 AM GMT
Miguel Cabrera answered critics of his off-field behavior last season by earning his first batting title, producing yet another 30-100-.300+ season. Cabrera is being challenged to shift back to 3B, his primary position in the early years of his career before joining DET. Potential 3B eligibility would further enhance the perceived value of this perennial Triple Crown threat.
Jeffrey
Tomich
February 16, 2012 1:01 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 1:01 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 1:01 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.
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