Under the radar: Vets, sputtering stars find fountain of production
In this week's edition of
When Rodriguez signed with the Nationals, his fifth team in three years, he was expected to be a mentor for
Barajas also has jumped teams the past few seasons but he seems to be settling in as a New Yorker. He has displayed tremendous power this season, smashing 9 HR in 23 games, including three multi-homer games. Although he's a .239 career hitter and he occasionally splits catching duties with Henry Blanco, Barajas offers rare pop at the "2" position.
The Red Sox paid $51.1 million just to negotiate with Matsuzaka in '06, and it seemed like a decent investment after his first two seasons (33-15, 3.73 ERA, 1.32 WHIP). Since then, he has struggled with injuries and he's off to a bad start in '10 (1-1, 9.90 ERA, 1.80 WHIP). Still, a healthy Matsuzaka is worth grabbing at a discounted price in hopes of getting his better form.
Fukudome signed a four-year, $48 million contract with Chicago in '07 but he hasn't come as advertised in his first two major-league seasons (.259, 11 HR, 58 RBI are his career highs). He is starting to put things together in '10 (.318, 5 HR, 18 RBI in 88 AB), which is a good sign that he can become the power hitter that he was with Japan's Chunichi Dragons.
Whether you called him overweight or just plain fat, Jones certainly looked horrible in a Dodgers and Rangers uniform the past two seasons. He definitely didn't hit his weight (.190, 20 HR, 57 RBI in 490 AB), which makes his '10 start a huge surprise. Jones has regained his long-ball swing (9 HR in 92 AB) and his batting average is back to respectability (.264). At the very least, you can cut out the fat jokes.
In keeping up with the rest of the Joneses (I've also touted Garrett and Adam this year), let's not forget about Larry Wayne "Chipper." If you have him on your roster, you probably missed out on younger talents like
No true Yankee fan would touch Pavano after four injury-plagued seasons in the Bronx and with good reason (9-8, 5.00 ERA in 26 starts). However, he made 33 starts with the Indians in '09 and he's looking stronger this season with Minnesota (3-3, 3.43 ERA, 1.12 WHIP).
Meanwhile, Hudson is trying to get back on track after a wrist injury derailed his '08 season in Arizona. Few might remember he was an All-Star with the Dodgers in '09 only to fade in the second half and eventually lose playing time to