Carlos Quentin received 41% of the American League MVP first-place votes in 2008, but he has been hampered by injury every single season since then. Plenty MLB experts have called Quentin’s career season simply a flash in the pan and a rare bump in numbers from an average outfielder.
In my mind, Quentin could easily flip the script for the San Diego Padres in 2013 and have an equally impressive season.
Playing in a little more than half of the team’s games in 2012, Quentin still made noise with 16 home runs, 46 RBI and 21 doubles–he was especially good against lefties, with a .327 batting average in 82 at-bats. Going from the hitter-friendly U.S Cellular Field with the Chicago White Sox, Quentin has had to adjust to the much longer dimensions at PETCO Park.
This off-season has been an improvement from last years, as the slugger underwent arthroscopic knee surgery in March of 2012–an injury that would cause Quentin to miss the first month of the season. Moving forward, he will not have the same issues entering 2013, and should hit the ground running for the first time in a couple seasons.
I see the right-hander hitting over 30 home runs and 90 RBI this year along, with at least a .270 batting average. Although these predictions may be lofty I think Quentin has finally entered his comfort zone with the club, and will show the Padres all that he has left in the tank.
No doubt, Quentin is a member of the Padres lineup that the team will rely on next season, but it will be key for others like Chase Headley and Yonder Alonso to stay productive throughout the year as well.
I have no doubt that “Hard-Hittin Quentin” will be representing the club in City Field for this summer’s MLB All-Star Game.