Coming into the 2007 baseball season, the Royals' Mark Teahen was riding a power surge from 2006 that ended pre-ememptively with shoulder surgery in September in order to be 100% in 2007. After hitting 7 HRs in 2005 and just 14 the year prior between AA and AAA, Teahen exploded for 18 in fewer than 400 ABs in 2006.
There is little room for doubt that Teahen disappointed in 2007. However, I suspect the shoulder issue was to blame. Why? He had the same number of extra base hits in 2006 and 2007. With an additional year of recovery will those extra doubles turn back to HRs?
JD Drew also disappointed in a similar way. Coming from a pitcher's park in LA where he had 20 HRs amongst his 60 extra base hits, he was capable of producing just 45 XBHs with 11 HRs in the friendlier confines of Fenway Park. Given he had a similar number of ABs (466 vs 494), this was odd. He, too, had shoulder surgery in the off-season.
However, he was also dealing with personal issues involving his child. While I see nothing in his numbers i.e. number of walks and strikeouts, that would indicate a loss of concentration, I would allow that worry over a child would cause a loss of focus. However, the shoulder issue and loss of power ties with Teahen.
I posed the question in two separate chats, one fantasy-focused, the other just baseball-focused. Here are the answers.
Eric Karabell: Sounds like an offseason blog to me. Yeah, I have noticed that it's not just players coming off broken hands/wrists who lose power, but shoulders. There's no other reason why Teahen/Drew would hit for so little power. I'd expect each to bounce back into the 20-plus range next season when they are healthy.
Will Carroll: I think we'll see a bit of an uptick. Both were adjusting and had some other issues as well.
Both answers support a rebound in 2008, and I believe both players to be sleepers in all formats.
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