Can Dexter Fowler Avoid a Letdown After a Career Year?

Jayne Kamin-Oncea- USA TODAY Sports

It was a career year for Colorado Rockies outfielder Dexter Fowler in 2012. He was finally able to stay healthy for the majority of the season and it paid off with career highs in batting average (.300), RBIs (53), home runs (13) and games (143).

Now that his contract issue has been settled for now–Fowler and the Rockies avoided arbitration by agreeing to a two-year, $11.6 million contract–the 26-year-old can focus on having another solid season as Spring Training gets going this week. Fowler’s contract was a point of emphasis this offseason, especially after seeing him break out in 2012.

Fowler easily had his best season as a pro and now his main goal is to make sure he does not have a letdown in 2013.

As the beginning of season festivities kick off this week, one thing that Fowler will have to do is avoid his usual slow start. Last spring, he was batting just .141 through their first 21 games, eventually getting moved down to eighth in the lineup rather than his usual leadoff spot. Slow starts are nothing new for Fowler and his career numbers reflect that. He is just a career .260 hitter before the All-Star break,  but a .282 hitter afterward. Most of his slow starts feature the same issues: a high number of strikeouts and long dry spells without a hit.

Can Fowler remedy that this season? I certainly think that he turned a corner last season, especially in the second half of the year. With the confidence he gained from his finish in 2012, and the fact that his contract issue has now been resolved, I don’t see any reason why Fowler can’t duplicate, or even better, his production from a season ago.

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