Stand in awe of Jose Bautista

Were this five years ago, we’d dismiss Jose Bautista as a cheater — another Brady Anderson or Luis Gonzalez. But in the year of the pitcher, with PED testing routine enough to dissuade all but the truly dense, Bautista’s numbers merit special praise.

The player formerly thought of as another Danny Bautista has 16 homers in 32 games, putting him on a pace for 81. The ex-Pirate has 16 more walks than strikeouts (35 to 19) and an OBP of .517. Bautista’s .368 BA is nothing compared to his 1.315 OPS.

That five-year, $65 million contract Bautista signed before this season is looking like one of baseball’s best discounts. The Braves showed interest in the onetime Oriole at last year’s trading deadline. Imagine what might have been.

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6 Comments on Stand in awe of Jose Bautista

  1. Jack Straw // May 16, 2011 at 6:40 am //

    Looking at his history, there is nothing to suggest he would become Albert Pujols virtually overnight. He will have to sustain it for a full 5 years to make me a believer. Cheaters never think they will be caught.

  2. Jeff H. // May 16, 2011 at 10:57 am //

    I do hope that he’s legit. This whole HR category has been so sullied – it kills me that Hank’s record was broken by a cheater (and he may be passed by another cheater in a few years).

    I wish Selig would grow a pair of Kennesaw Mountain Landis-sized balls and name Hank Aaron the HR king.

  3. tokyokie // May 16, 2011 at 11:55 am //

    Wow. Although he was drafted as a free agent by the Pirates, he first came to the majors in 2004 as a Rule 5 pick of the Orioles. Except after only getting into 16 games for Baltimore the first two months, the O’s waived him, and Tampa Bay picked him up. The Devil Rays only kept him around for 12 games before selling him to the Royals, who, after using him for 13 games, sent him to the Mets (for the great justin Huber), so they could use him as a throw-in in the Kris Benson deal. Not many guys are in five different organizations in one season before the trade deadline (only to wind up back at their original club).

  4. PepeFreeUs // May 16, 2011 at 5:16 pm //

    I’ve always liked him. I like the way he plays and carries himself in a low key, professional manner.

  5. There’s no question that this jerk is a cheater. In the history of baseball, no one has gone from mediocre (at very best) journeyman to the best hitter in baseball. His ears and nose should be pulled right off his head! He’s a public relations disastor waiting to happen.

  6. I’m not comparing the two, but Sandy Koufax’s first four seasons in the bigs were decidedly mediocre.

    Dave Stewart was another.

    I’m willing to give Bautista the benefit of the doubt because 1.) his physical appearance hasn’t changed drastically and 2.) the Jays just signed him to a five-year contract. They’d know if he was juicing, just like LaRussa knew about McGwire, etc. I don’t think Toronto is going to spend $55 mil on a guy who’s just a test away from Oblivion.

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