If for some reason, maybe reality setting in for one, Ben Zobrist doesn’t come close to matching his 2009 numbers should we be that surprised? In the minor leagues Zobrist was considered a steady hitter whose best asset was getting on base in parts of four seasons with the Rays he never hit better then .253 and the 12 homers he hit that season were considered more of a fluke then anything.
Some fluke I suppose. Last season Zobrist got his break at the cost of Akinori Iwamura’s injury. The results were the things movies are made of. Zobrist went on to be selected to the All-Star game, became a fantasy baseball savior, played multiple positions and yet somehow his wife is the first image result for his name on Google. Ahh, I suppose there’s some reason for that.
Zobrist never hit more then 7 home runs in any minor league season and that happened in 2007, his fourth year in pro ball. His high OBP made him more of a option to be driven in and yet last year he exploded for 27 home runs and 91 RBI. The 17 stolen bases, 28 doubles and 7 triples were a nice touch and let us not forget the 91 walks.
Where seasons like Zobrist’s 2009 come from are anyone’s guess. You’ll hear hard work, lucky breaks and a bunch of other rationalizations. Frankly I don’t know. I’m not sure I care.
Zobrist can easily go one of two ways and likely will. He could continue on the course he started last season or he could revert back to the type of fringe player he appeared to be before.
For what it’s worth Zobrist has done his part this spring hitting .349/.408/.674 and unlike last season he’s hit some out of the part so his slugging percentage isn’t boosted by a few lucky triples.
Though until and unless Zobrist hits like he did last season you always have to wonder if he’s reached the ceiling since there’s little evidence that this is the type of player Ben Zobrist was headed to being.
I for one hope he keeps it up.