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He was an early 30's (in age) slugger, traded several times during the early part of his career until a team in the NL Central finally gave him the opportunity to play full time. At this point, he began to produce big offensive numbers. He was a middle of the order hitter and a little suspect with his defense, but was durable, averaging over 150 games per season. While the power numbers were there, so were the strikeouts. He averaged over 150 Ks per in his four full seasons prior to becoming a free agent, his first such shot at that big payday. Nobody paid much attention to the alarming strikeout rates. His detractors said he would never consistently hit the major league breaking pitch, but his proponents said when he gets in a groove, he can hit anything at anytimeùand from any pitcher. ...

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Article written by Joseph DelGrippo

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