Hidalgo's behind right now for sure, but don't be surprised if he turns in a very solid campaign. I also expect Hafner's batting average to slip below .300. When it's all said and done, Hidalgo may be closer to the pack than expected.
I'm tired of arguing about Vernon Wells. He was hurt last year. He's 26. He hit .317-33-117 in 2003. He's going to continue to improve into his prime, even though his R/RBI numbers won't be great in that horrid lineup. SBs will make up for that.
Wells' monthly numbers in 2004:
APRIL .211-1 HR
MAY .360-5 HR
JUN .333-3 HR (missed over half the month...strained calf muscle)
JUL .242-3 HR (missed nearly half the month...strained calf muscle)
AUG .210-3 HR
SEP .291-7 HR
First, he was just bad in April, superb in May and June...those numbers average out pretty nicely to his norms.
Note that on August, 24- August, 26, Wells was out of the lineup with tightness in his right calf...the same calf that he injured in June. This proves that he was not completely healthy for the July and August months where he was absolutely putrid. He looked a lot like his old self in September, demonstrating that he could be ready to bounce back in 2005.
As some of you more familiar with injuries may know, a calf injury is very close to the ACL and thus is critical for athletic ability. However, being obviously less serious than an ACL injury, Wells should be good to go this season.
Vernon Wells will bounce back. Write it down.