Tex struggled in the #5 slot last year (.218 BA) but thrived in the 6th slot (.320). Is that b/c it's a small sample size or because he thrived (as would a lot of hitters) when he was batting behind three of the following: A-Rod, Juan Gon, Palmeiro and/or Everett? With all of these guys gone--oh wait, the union stuck it to the Red Sox so one of these guys will be there!--I worry that he'll struggle without the same level of protection.
Aside from any changes in his skills, how much do y'all think his numbers drop/increase without having Everett/Juan Gon/Palmeiro in the lineup? Seems to me that he gets more ABs and therefore a few more runs and RBIs but pitchers can work around him so the HRs won't increase that much and might drop, and the average is likely to drop a little (but that might get offset by his own experience with the rigors of traveling). (I.e., his home/road batting average splits of .298/.217 leave room for improvement!)
So I guess I'm luke warm, although everyone else seems to view him as a phenom. Thoughts? What is it that the elder statesmen of this great cafe' have seen that I have not? Teach me!