The Mets' big free-agent signing hit only 16 home runs last season while dealing with a quad injury most of the year. He already has 12 homers this year, including a game-winning blast in the 16th inning against the Phillies on Tuesday.
2 of 10John W. McDonough/SI
The brittle Drew is always coming back from some type of injury. This time it's a broken wrist suffered last July. He has yet to go on the disabled list this year and has 34 RBIs, two shy of his total from 2005.
3 of 10John Biever/SI
Knee and hamstring injuries limited him to 334 at-bats last season, but now he's a huge factor in the Tigers' resurgence, batting .325 with a .545 slugging percentage.
4 of 10Damian Strohmeyer/SI
Discarded by the Marlins because of his large contract and sub-par performance, Lowell appears to have regained his old form. The Gold Glove third baseman is batting .331 with a major-league-leading 21 doubles.
5 of 10AP
Ordonez missed the first half of 2005 with a sports hernia injury, then managed only eight home runs the rest of the way. He already has 11 blasts this year to go along with his .327 batting average.
6 of 10AP
Once a prized prospect for the Cubs, Patterson's career hit rock bottom last season, when he batted .215 and struggled defensively in Chicago. The Orioles traded for him over the winter and are reaping the benefits -- Patterson is hitting .306 and has stolen 15 bases in 16 attempts.
7 of 10Brad Mangin/SI
The former All-Star looked slow in the field and at the plate during his only season with the Red Sox, but his game has been rejuvenated with a return to the NL. He opened the season with a 23-game hitting streak and has hit safely in all but two of the Braves' games this season.
8 of 10Robert Beck/SI
Boston's ace paid the price for his 2004 postseason heroics last season, when he was limited to 93 1/3 innings, some of which came in relief. Schilling is 7-2 with a 3.80 ERA so far this season.
9 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
While dealing with back and elbow injuries, Thome lost his first base job in Philly to Rookie of the Year Ryan Howard. Thome ended 2005 with seven home runs and a meager .207 batting average but already has 18 homers and is batting .303 this year for the defending world champions.
10 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
Assorted leg injuries, including a torn tendon in his left ankle, limited Vidro to a career-low 163 at-bats in 2005. The All-Star second baseman has remained healthy this season while battting .350 with a .414 on-base percentage.
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